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Snyder promotes state's soaring auto industry, encourages Chinese investment in Michigan

Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013

BEIJING – Michigan is the automotive capital of North America and offers tremendous opportunities for Chinese auto companies looking to make foreign investments and expand globally, Gov. Rick Snyder told an audience of more than 500 government officials and industry leaders in his keynote address today at the China International Auto Parts Development Summit Forum 2013.

“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. “This is just the beginning of what Michigan has to offer the China market, and we are making a strong case with every executive we meet to build the foundations for long-term investment in our state.”

The forum was part of the China International Auto Parts Expo (CIAPE) taking place Sept. 12-16 in Beijing. Hosted by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, CIAPE has attracted more than 8,000 quality auto parts suppliers from more than 130 countries and regions across the world as well as more than 200,000 professional auto and auto parts purchasers for the past six years. It provides an opportunity for auto suppliers to exhibit and promote their products and services to potential customers in China and throughout Asia.

In his remarks, Snyder touted Michigan’s automotive research and development leadership, high-skilled, well-educated workforce, and surging auto sales. Snyder told the audience that Michigan’s auto industry is getting stronger every day, and the opportunities for Chinese auto companies to invest here are enormous:

  • U.S. vehicle production volume is projected to be 15.3 million in 2013, and Michigan’s share is estimated to be more than 21 percent of the total.
  • New vehicle spending in the U.S. is up 48 percent since 2009, nearly $500 billion.
  • Michigan automotive employment has increased 31 percent between 2009 and 2013.
  • Michigan is home to 375 vehicle-related research and development, and technical centers.
  • Total automotive sales up are 14 percent over July 2012.
  • Chinese foreign direct investment in Michigan reached the $1 billion mark in 2012 and Michigan ranks ninth in the U.S. for direct investment from China. Nearly 95 percent of Chinese investment is automotive related.
  • At least 100 Chinese companies have established a significant presence in Michigan.

Following the forum, Snyder and the Michigan delegation toured the Forbidden City, the former Chinese imperial palace dating back to the 15th century; and later attended the CIAPE ceremonial dinner. On Friday he will provide opening remarks at CIAPE, tour the expo and visit the Pure Michigan booth, where eight Michigan-based auto suppliers are exhibiting their products.

Throughout his week in Beijing, Snyder has met with numerous business executives and Chinese government officials to strengthen relationships, attract job-creating investments and encourage further trade between China and Michigan. He also conducted a roundtable with key opinion leaders from the Chinese media to address the financial restructuring of Detroit, and he participated in a tourism forum to introduce Pure Michigan to the Chinese tourism market.

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 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.