Gov. Rick Snyder spends first two days in China strengthening ties to boost investment, increase exports, and create jobs

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Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017


LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder spent the second full day of his investment mission in China today participating in the Michigan-Guangdong Exchange Forum in Guangdong. Snyder also took part in an investment roundtable with executives from 15 Chinese companies, where he delivered the message that Michigan is the ideal location for foreign companies to invest and add jobs.

“With 70 percent of global automotive research and development happening here in Michigan, and our strong manufacturing base, talent and business-friendly environment, there is no better place in North America for Chinese companies to expand than in Michigan,” Snyder said. “We are here making a strong case with every executive and government official we meet to build the foundations for long-term investment in our state, showcasing our companies’ high-quality goods and services for export, and how Michigan and China can continue to work together to explore cooperation in areas of mutual interest.”

In 2016, Michigan ranked number two in the nation for number of investment projects from China. Michigan also ranked number three in the nation for number of jobs created by Chinese investment and number four for total capital investment. Between January 2010 and July 2017, Michigan received $1.1 billion in new business investment from China that created 5,475 jobs for Michigan residents.

Following the breakout session, Snyder spoke to Chinese business reporters about Michigan’s leadership in mobility and autonomous vehicle development.

“In our conversations with the media and business leaders here in China, they are impressed by Michigan’s advancements in the mobility sector, our vast automotive assets, and our robust workforce of skilled and engineering talent,” Snyder said. “We are sharing the message that Michigan has always been the leader of the auto industry and as vehicle and transportation technologies continue to evolve, Michigan continues to lead the way.”

The Exchange Forum also included four other breakout sessions that focused on trade, agriculture, tourism and education. Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Jamie Clover Adams participated in the agriculture breakout session, and Michigan Economic Development Corporation Vice President of Travel Michigan David Lorenz joined the tourism session.

Snyder’s final meeting of the day was with Guangdong Governor Ma Xingrui to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Michigan’s sister state agreement with the province of Guangdong. Signed in May 2016, the agreement was the first of its kind to be signed between the state of Michigan and a province of China since 1982.

On Tuesday, Snyder met in Beijing with Hebei province Governor Xu Qin where they discussed opportunities for Michigan businesses there. They also signed a memorandum of understanding between Michigan and Hebei that aims to further the communication and cooperation between the two regions in the areas of bioscience and health, automotive, agriculture, tourism and clean energy.

“Michigan was one of the first states to begin a formal relationship with China, and these types of agreements add to Michigan’s commitment to helping businesses and people in both Michigan and China,” Snyder said. “This memorandum of understanding is an important accomplishment that builds on our mutual commitment to strengthen our friendship and further promote cooperation between Michigan and China.”

Snyder also met with Premier Li Keqiang, the second highest-ranking official in China. Earlier in the day he met with executives from major Chinese automotive companies to discuss possible investment in Michigan, stressing the potential Michigan offers for additional business cooperation and investment opportunities. The governor highlighted Michigan’s skilled workforce, research and development assets, and manufacturing capabilities, as well as the state’s strong interest in expanding ties with China.

Snyder departed for China on Sunday, July 30 and will return to Michigan on Tuesday, Aug. 8. During the mission, he will make numerous company visits and meet with business leaders and senior government officials in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Shanghai, and Hangzhou in addition to Beijing.

Concurrent with the governor’s mission, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation is leading 10 Michigan companies to China to meet with prospective business partners, distributors and buyers to increase export opportunities from Michigan to China.

The trip marks the Snyder administration’s seventh mission to China. Other missions led by Snyder or Lt. Gov. Brian Calley have included France, Japan, South Korea, Canada, the Netherlands, Brazil, Mexico, Israel, Chile, Columbia, India, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Ireland and Great Britain. The missions have resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars of investments in Michigan by foreign companies adding jobs to Michigan’s workforce.