Governor Rick Snyder Leads Trade Mission to China


Governor Rick Snyder Leads Trade Mission to China

September 20, 2012
By Mike Brownfield, Director of Social Media

Did you know that China is one of Michigan's biggest customers and that it has the potential to become even bigger?

That's why Governor Rick Snyder and business leaders from 21 Michigan companies are on a 10-day trade mission to China. Their goal is to strengthen that trade relationship, which means more and better jobs for Michigan. On Thursday, Governor Snyder kicked off the trade mission with the grand opening of the Michigan China Center, which will promote trade, tourism and cultural exchanges between Michigan and China. Governor Snyder explained the importance of the office:

Opening this office in Shanghai is an important step in cultivating and expanding partnerships and business opportunities between Michigan and China. Having a permanent presence through the Michigan China Center will expand Michigan's engagement in the Chinese market and sends a strong signal about our commitment to increasing exports of Michigan-made products to China and attracting new investments to Michigan.
One of those companies that sees the opportunity of exporting products to China is Garden Fresh Salsa, which is located right here in Michigan. The company's vice chairman Dave Zilko, who is joining the governor on the trip, says the trade mission could hold great promise:
There are 1.3 billion potential consumers in China, and the Chinese economy has been one of the bright spots on the world stage over the last few years. In terms of trade dollars, Michigan already exports a significant amount of products to China, but we've barely tapped the potential of that already enormous and growing market.
Just how big is Michigan's trade with China? Take a look at the facts:


  • China is Michigan's third largest export market with exports valued at almost $2.7 billion in 2011.
  • China is also one of Michigan's fastest-growing export markets. Since 2000, Michigan's exports to China have increased by 1,170 percent, while Michigan exports to the rest of the world grew by only 44 percent.
  • In 2011, Michigan ranked 12th in U.S. exports to China.
  • Top Michigan exports to China include transportation equipment, chemicals, metal manufacturing and machinery.
  • Currently, Michigan exports almost one-third of the crops grown here, generating $2.3 billion in economic activity. China represents a major market opportunity to increase that significantly further.

"China is an important and viable market for a wide range of products and services," Governor Snyder notes. "This trade mission will open doors for these companies by helping them identify and enter into new relationships there. These Michigan companies, with products ranging from sporting goods and complex automotive components, will have a never-before-seen opportunity to reach new customers in the fastest-growing economy in the world.

" The Michigan Economic Development Corporation reports on some of the activities expected on the trade mission:

Delegates from the export mission are attending business matchmaking events in Nanjing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guiyang, Wuhan, and Chengdu. The matchmaking events include customized appointments with prospective partners, distributors and buyers in each region. The participants will also receive extensive training on exporting and doing business in China.

The mission participants will also join several of the governor's investment mission events, including the Michigan Investment Attraction Seminar and Reception, the opening of the Michigan Center Office in Shanghai and the 13th Western China International Fair.