Granholm to Pitch Michigan as Key Destination for International Investment, New Jobs

Contact: Michael Shore 517-335-4590

July 21, 2005

LANSING – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm will begin an investment mission to Japan next Monday, seeking to forge stronger alliances with the leadership of that country’s automotive and new technology industries and attract new jobs and business development to Michigan.

Granholm’s week-long schedule includes individual meetings with high-level executives from 18 Japanese companies, as well as a reception at which another 10 companies will be represented.  She will address an automotive industry seminar at the World Expo in Nagoya and host a biotechnology seminar in Osaka with Michigan university presidents to promote Michigan as a North American center for life sciences research, development, and commercialization.  The Governor’s delegation will make contact with more than 150 companies during the week.

The Governor will spend the week pitching Michigan as the premier state for advanced automotive, life science, and high-tech manufacturing investment. 

“My goal is to import jobs,” said Granholm.  “At every meeting and in every visit, we’ll be making the case that if you’re a high-tech company and you’re looking to grow in the United States, Michigan is the place to be.  Advanced automotive technology, university research, and cutting-edge bioscience breakthroughs come together in one place in America – and that’s Michigan.” 

Granholm said that in addition to the state’s manufacturing background and highly-respected research universities, Michigan’s commitment to making its business climate more attractive, creating the best-trained workforce in the nation, and boldly investing in creating new jobs in 21st century businesses make Michigan the best choice for high-tech companies looking to expand or open their doors in this country.

“My economic plan lays the foundation that will attract new business and new jobs from around the world.  Through the Jobs for Michigan Fund, the Michigan Jobs and Investment Act, and our efforts to build a skilled workforce, we’re telling the world that Michigan is open for business.”

Japan is Michigan’s largest Asian export market and our third-largest market in the world.  Michigan exported a billion dollars in goods to Japan last year, and Japan has more direct investment in Michigan than almost any other nation.  Roughly 600 Japanese divisions, affiliates, and subsidiaries operate in Michigan, employing 100,000 people and contributing $8 billion to our economy.  These companies represent a wide range of industry sectors but are heavily concentrated in manufacturing and research and development, sectors well known for producing high-wage jobs.

In addition to targeting companies in the automotive, advanced manufacturing, life science, and alternative energy sectors, Granholm will be meeting with leaders of Japan’s chemical and pharmaceutical industries.  A recent Milkin Institute study indicated that the direct economic impact to Michigan from the state’s growing biopharmaceutical industry is $3.9 billion a year.

“This mission is about talking to all kinds of companies about bringing all kinds of jobs back to Michigan,” said Granholm.

Recently, Granholm welcomed a number of significant Japanese company investments to the state, including major new developments by Toyota, Denso, Aisin, Asahi, Musashi, and others.  Michigan companies such as Ford, General Motors, Stryker, Delphi, and Dow Chemical have been growing their businesses in Japan.

During the mission, Granholm will accept a “Gift of Science” on behalf of the Detroit Science Center, meet with a Japanese governor to discuss water preservation and other environmental concerns, and tout Michigan as a global center of automotive and high-tech research and development to members of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Tokyo.

The Governor’s trip is similar to the investment mission she took to Germany last November, which resulted in commitments from German companies for projects that will create or retain more than 900 Michigan jobs.

Many of the new facilities and expansions undertaken by Japanese companies have been awarded to Michigan in head-to-head competition with other states with the assistance of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.  MEDC Chief Operating Officer Sanford Ring will accompany Granholm in Japan to identify the tax credits, job training, and other incentives to encourage Japanese companies to grow in Michigan.

“Frankly, no one delivers Michigan’s message to international companies like Governor Granholm,” Ring said.  “Her enthusiasm for business development and vision for our growth are well received by business leaders and decision-makers across a wide range of sectors.”

For Granholm, the investment mission represents a valuable opportunity to help Japanese companies understand Michigan as a pivotal location for their businesses.

“Michigan so dominates automotive research and development that we can uniquely make the best case for international investment,” she said.  “Companies seeking a foothold in the North American market find Michigan’s strengths make it the perfect location to launch from.”

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