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Gov. Snyder's China investment mission formalizes business deal; promotes travel, engineering education

Gov. Snyder and SAIC Motor Co. Chairman Hong Chen applaud the completion of the signing agreement between MEDC President & CEO Mike Finney and SAIC HASCO General Manager Haitao Zhang formalizing their partnership between China and Michigan

Agreement with SAIC highlights $100 million in investments, 1,000 jobs in Michigan

Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014

SHANGHAI – Gov. Rick Snyder continued the state’s pursuit of new business investments and export opportunities for Michigan via meetings with Chinese executives and government officials, addressed the city of Detroit’s and Michigan’s economic comeback, and showcased tourism opportunities and the state’s engineering education leadership as part of the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s weeklong trade mission.

“Michigan offers great new opportunities for investment by Chinese companies, particularly those in the automotive and other manufacturing-based sectors,” Snyder said. “Michigan is a global leader and is a natural landing place for companies looking to grow their capabilities in a business-friendly environment with world-class talent.”

Snyder started Tuesday in Shanghai with business attraction meetings and a special event exploring the ways Michigan can partner with China in developing engineering talent. He met with senior leaders of Shanghai Jiaotong University (SJTU), a partner with the University of Michigan in a six-year-old institute for engineering education. The UM-SJTU Joint Institute was established in 2008 to develop a world-class program that incorporates best practices in innovative global engineering education and research activities. Michigan is home to the most industrial and mechanical engineers in the United States.

Snyder also lauded the formal agreement signing between the state of Michigan and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) whose STEC USA subsidiary announced last week its decision to locate a new headquarters and manufacturing facility in Madison Heights. The $15 million operation is projected to create 176 jobs. SAIC is China’s largest original equipment manufacturer and has invested more than $100 million and created more than 1,000 jobs in Michigan. STEC recently won contracts to supply window regulator components for General Motors. For more information, click here

Economic partners on the mission applauded Michigan’s focus on the burgeoning China market as a key way to bolster the state’s growing economy.

“In the past few years, we have seen Chinese companies wisely change their long-term strategy to develop a more lasting investment in our state. They want to be a part of our community. This is especially key given Michigan's global importance in the automotive industry and other sectors,” said Maureen Krauss, vice president of economic development for the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce.

And Matthew Gibbs, deputy Oakland County executive, noted that since the governor has renewed Michigan's focus on China, the investment from Chinese companies in the county has doubled from 25 to more than 50, with another dozen in current negotiations.

Snyder also hosted the mission’s third tourism forum in Shanghai with Chinese travel reporters and tourism operators to promote Pure Michigan and make the case why the Great Lakes State is a must-see and -do leisure destination in the United States. He also met with automotive and business reporters to share Michigan’s comeback story and highlight how the state’s largest city, Detroit, is completing its major financial restructuring and is a surging, exciting city again.

On Wednesday, Snyder will travel to Hangzhou, the mission’s last stop before returning to Michigan.

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.