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Snyder makes case for investment in Michigan with Chinese leaders

Friday, September 6, 2013

CHONGQING, China – Gov. Rick Snyder today met with business executives from the Chinese parent company of Menominee-based Enstrom Helicopters as well government officials from Chongqing, making the case that Michigan offers tremendous opportunities for Chinese companies looking to make foreign investments and expand globally.

“With 70 percent of global automotive research and development happening here in Michigan, and our strong manufacturing base and business-friendly environment, there is no better place in North America for Chinese companies to expand than in Michigan,” Snyder said. “We are already seeing Chinese investment in Michigan, but this is just the beginning of what have to offer the China market. We are here making a strong case with every executive we meet to build the foundations for long-term investment in our state.”

Chongqing Machinery and Electronics owns Chongqing Helicopter Co., which purchased Enstrom Helicopter Corp. in Menominee earlier this year. The acquisition resulted in an $8 million investment in a building expansion and the creation of up to 171 additional jobs over the next three years. The project received support from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. through its Capital Access and State Trade Export Promotion programs.

“Chongqing Helicopter’s investment is significant for Menominee and will mean many good-paying jobs for years to come,” Snyder said. “We look forward to working with Chongqing Machinery in the future and are committed to helping the company as it continues to grow in Michigan.”

In speaking with the company’s executives, Snyder discussed the potential Michigan offers for additional business cooperation and investment opportunities. The governor highlighted Michigan’s available talent, research and development assets, and manufacturing capabilities, as well as the state’s strong interest in expanding ties with China.

Snyder also met with Chongqing Mayor Huang Qifan, who hosted a dinner event to introduce the Michigan delegation to prominent Chongqing business and political leaders. The event included the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Michigan and Chongqing pledging to continue exchanges and explore expanded relationships. Chongqing, with a population of 29 million, is China’s third most populated city and considered to be the automotive equivalent of Michigan in that country.

Over the weekend Snyder will attend several private meetings with Chinese companies before traveling to Tokyo, where he will participate in the 2013 Midwest U.S. – Japan Association Conference.

This is Snyder’s sixth mission since taking office. He traveled to Israel in June to increase bilateral trade and investments, academic cooperation and strengthen Michigan’s relationship with the state of Israel. He opened the Michigan Trade Center and met with business leaders in Toronto and met with Canadian government officials in Ottawa in November 2012. He led a 10-day trade mission to China in September 2012, a seven-day mission to Italy and Germany in March 2012 and an eight-day trade mission to Japan, China and Korea in September 2011.