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Calley leads delegation to Chile, Colombia to strengthen Michigan's international business connections

Friday, May 1, 2015

LANSING, Mich. – Lt. Gov. Brian Calley will lead a delegation on a six-day trade mission to Chile and Colombia, leaving Saturday and returning May 8.

“We are using this opportunity to build strong partnerships with Chile and Colombia, creating trade and business opportunities for Michigan companies,” Calley said. “Throughout this mission we will work to open doors for businesses from across our state, while looking for opportunities to promote dialogue and exchanges between our regions on issues of mutual interest.”

Automation Alley is coordinating the business delegation that will accompany Calley, which will include executives from eight Michigan companies seeking to explore business opportunities with Chilean and Colombian companies.  The business delegation will be participating in customized itineraries of one-to-one meetings with prospective customers, distributors and partners in both countries. The full delegation will come together for a number of joint events and briefings throughout the mission. The trip is sponsored by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and is not paid for with taxpayer dollars.

After arriving in Santiago, Chile on Sunday, Calley’s trip will include meeting with executives from the companies taking part in the Automation Alley trade mission. He will also meet with government officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Agriculture as well as leaders from educational institutions and business associations.

Calley will fly to Bogota on Wednesday where he will meet with the Colombian Ministry of Agriculture and other government officials and business leaders, including representatives of the local branches of several Michigan-based companies.  He will then attend a reception hosted by U.S. Ambassador to Colombia Kevin Whitaker. Calley will return to Michigan on Friday.

Both Chile and Colombia have free trade agreements with the U.S., and both markets are very favorable to U.S. products and services.  Chilean and Colombian business relationships with Michigan traditionally have been positive, and state business leaders and economists say the potential growth opportunities for Michigan are strong: 

  • Michigan exports to Chile totaled $273.2 million in 2014.
  • Transportation equipment comprised 75.3 percent of exports from Michigan to Chile in 2014, totaling $205.8 million.
  • Michigan is the 12th largest state for exports to Chile.
  • Exports from Michigan to Colombia have increased 9.8 percent, up $16 million from 2013 to 2014.
  • Michigan is the 18th largest state for exports to Colombia.
  • Key Michigan exports to Colombia include transportation equipment, chemicals, machinery (except electrical), and food manufacturers.
  • (SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration)

Representatives from Michigan companies will include:

  • Coe Press Equipment Corporation of Sterling Heights: a designer and manufacturer of coil handling and feeding equipment.
  • Current Motor Company of Ann Arbor: an electric vehicle and solar charging station manufacturing company.
  • Dell Marking of Rochester Hills: a developer of marking inks and devices for the automotive industry.
  • Hamilton Engineering, Inc. of Livonia: a manufacturer of commercial and light industrial hot water supply systems.
  • Hosco Fittings LLC of Wixom: a developer of high performance paint circulation and delivery components to the aerospace, automotive, truck/bus and agricultural industries.
  • Littlite of Hamburg: a manufacturer of high quality, U.S.-made gooseneck task lights used in low light and focused light environments.
  • Magnetic Products, Inc. of Highland: a worldwide provider of both magnetic and non-magnetic material handling solutions.
  • Oakland University Incubator of Rochester: a Michigan designated Smartzone Business incubator and Innovation Center

The mission is Calley’s fourth since taking office in 2011. In 2013, he participated in trips to Mexico, Brazil and the Netherlands.