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Gov. Snyder completes fourth trade mission to China

Gov. Snyder speaks at a reception for leading business executives and officials in Shanghai who have investment interests in Michigan.

Key relationships made, strengthened; major investment, export, Pure Michigan tourism opportunities identified

Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder has completed a weeklong trade mission, visiting business and government leaders in five cities in China. The governor expressed confidence that the trip, his fourth in four years, will lead to significant opportunities for Michigan businesses and more jobs for Michigan residents.

“In the globally interconnected world of today, China offers extraordinary opportunities for Michigan companies to grow,” Snyder said. “The nine Michigan businesses that participated in the trade mission found potential new markets, distributorships and other business partnerships. The Chinese companies and government officials we met with are eager to seek greater cooperation with Michigan.”

Snyder met with top executives from numerous Chinese companies in meetings, business receptions and roundtables along with government officials in Beijing, Shenyang, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Hangzhou. He hosted tourism forums in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai to promote Pure Michigan as a travel destination to Chinese media and tour operators. He also participated in forums with auto and business reporters to address Michigan’s economic recovery and Detroit’s exit from bankruptcy.

Snyder also joined the signing of two major memorandums of understanding. One was between the Michigan Automotive Office and Chinese Association of Automotive Manufacturers (CAAM) to formally deepen the partnership and strengthen future collaboration between the two organizations. The other was between the state’s auto office and the Chinese Council for Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) Automotive Committee that commits to conducting a U.S.-China Automotive Forum both at the North America International Auto Show starting in January 2015 and the annual, alternating Shanghai/Beijing Auto Show.

Snyder lauded several contract signings between Chinese companies and the state or Michigan companies, including Rochester-based Air Liquid Systems, Inc. & Hydrotech, Michigan Economic Development Corp. and soon-to-be based in Greenville CITIC Dicastal, and MEDC and the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) subsidiary company, HASCO. Combined, these agreements represent millions of dollars in investments and thousands of Michigan jobs. 

Snyder and the Michigan China Office also hosted a reception for more than 200 leading business executives and officials from the Shanghai region with current or potential interests in Michigan.

On his final day of the mission in Hangzhou, Snyder met with Li Qiang, governor of Zhejiang province and automotive executives.

Concurrent with the governor’s investment mission, the MEDC led business leaders from nine Michigan companies to China to meet with prospective partners, distributors and buyers to increase export opportunities from Michigan to China. In addition to one-on-one meetings, this delegation came together with the governor’s delegation for several key events throughout the mission.

“Our companies are looking for a more diverse international footprint in China,” said Camille Silda, senior economic development specialist for Macomb County and one of the Michigan delegation participants. “The company matchmaking sessions have been very productive in Beijing and Shanghai in particular for international expansion plans in today's global market.”

Mark Burger, business development manager of KC Jones Plating Co., said the mission was incredibly important to fostering relationships and harnessing opportunities to add value in the fast-growing China market while simultaneously growing and creating jobs home in Michigan.

A traditional practice when visiting foreign government officials is the exchange of gifts that represent their respective homelands. While in China, Snyder presented gifts of 2011 Gamay Noir Reserve wine from Chateau Grand Traverse – which currently exports its wines to China – in Traverse City and handmade wine boxes made of Michigan Birdseye Maple crafted by Mikutowski Woodworking in Menominee. The previous gifts have included Michigan-made artwork including handmade pottery, clocks, glass sculpture, leather boxes, wood pens, and cedar fans.

The mission covered nearly 18,000 miles, including 4,000 miles traveled within China. The mission is Snyder's fourth to China and his administration’s 11th overall investment mission since taking office. Since Snyder’s first trip to Asia as governor in 2011, Michigan as received more than $1 billion in new business investment from China, Japan and Korea.