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Snyder on first day of China investment mission: Michigan is open for business, travel

Rochester-based company inks $2.6 million export deal

Friday, Nov. 21, 2014

BEIJING – Gov. Rick Snyder kicked off the first day of his investment mission in China today by promoting Michigan travel and meeting with government officials and business executives to strengthen relationships and promote the strong economic climate and business opportunities in Michigan. He also highlighted state companies producing high quality manufactured and food and agricultural products.

“Michigan is a great place to visit, a great place for business investment, and home to companies who are world-class leaders in countless goods and services,” Snyder told Chinese reporters at media roundtables. “Michigan’s natural beauty is matched by a manufacturing base that is recognized across the globe for technology leadership and a skilled workforce unmatched anywhere in North America.”

Snyder hosted a forum to promote Michigan to the Chinese tourism market, delivering the message that Michigan’s comeback continues and encouraging Chinese travelers to include Michigan in their visits. He also participated in a forum with auto and business reporters, addressing the state’s economic surge and Detroit’s exit from bankruptcy, saying the plan going forward will lay new groundwork for a dynamic and vibrant city.

“The future of Detroit is bright. The city is already seeing an amazing, positive transformation as new businesses and young talented people are moving there,” Snyder said. “With the continued success of Pure Michigan across the United States, we are here to encourage Chinese travelers to visit Michigan and experience its vast offerings as a travel destination firsthand.”

Following the media events Snyder and his delegation met with new U.S. Ambassador to China Max Baucus and Wang Jiong, president of global wheel manufacturer CITIC Group. Snyder delivered remarks and witnessed a deal signing ceremony formally celebrating the partnership between Michigan and CITIC Dicastal. The company has chosen Greenville for its first U.S. site as the location of its new aluminum alloy wheel manufacturing plant, a project that will generate a total capital investment of $140 million and create 300 jobs. Birgit Klohs, president and CEO of The Right Place in west Michigan was on hand for the signing.

“On behalf of the U.S. Embassy, I’m happy to welcome Gov. Snyder and his delegation once again to China,” said U.S. Ambassador to China Max Baucus. “Trade and investment have come to help from much of the foundation of the U.S.-China relationship. Our bilateral trade reached over $600 billion last year, and counts for 15 percent of all global trade. Robust trade and investment is a source of tremendous benefits to both countries. It helps create jobs. It builds our economies. One of my top priorities as U.S. ambassador to China is to help those trade and investment opportunities grow.”

Snyder also met with the Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui, where they discussed the Michigan-China relationship, the recent 10-year visa agreement between America and China, and the U.S. China Governors exchange forum.

The delegation also joined a contract signing ceremony between Rochester-based Air and Liquid Systems Inc. (ALSI) and Hydrotech Filtration Corp. to represent ALSI equipment to General Motors’ joint partners’ plants in China. ALSI is a manufacturer of liquid filtration, water purification and solids separation equipment that ensures quality finishing and aids in environmental waste reduction. The $2.6 million agreement will open new opportunities for the company throughout China.

“This mission to China and agreement we’ve signed in Beijing today solidifies our work with Hydrotech,” said ALSI President Jim Miller. “It deepens business opportunities in the fast growing automotive market in China and will allow and support additional engineering and manufacturing jobs in Michigan.”

Executives from ALSI are also taking part in an export mission that is taking place concurrently with Snyder’s investment mission. They and eight other participating companies are meeting with prospective partners, distributors and buyers to increase export opportunities from Michigan to China.

The final event of the day was with Dong Yang, executive vice chairman and secretary-general of the Chinese Association of Automotive Manufacturers (CAAM). The meeting included the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Michigan Automotive Office and CAAM to formally deepen the partnership and strengthen future collaboration between the two organizations.

Over the weekend, Snyder and the delegation will head to Guangzhou, where they will attend the Guangzhou International Auto Show.

The mission is Snyder's fourth to China and his administration’s 11th investment mission since taking office in January 2011. Other missions led by Snyder or Lt. Gov. Brian Calley have been to Japan, South Korea, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Brazil, Mexico, Israel and Canada.