Michigan governor on economic mission to Asia


Snyder leads 10-day trade mission to strengthen Michigan’s business relationships with China, Japan

Gov. Rick Snyder will lead a 10-day investment mission to China and Japan that leaves Michigan on Tuesday, Sept. 3. This will be Snyder’s third mission to Asia, where he will focus on strengthening trade relationships and attracting job-creating business investments.

“Michigan continues to build strong partnerships with China and Japan, creating trade and business opportunities,” Snyder said. “Throughout this mission, we will work to open more doors to new markets in China for businesses from across our state, while continuing to make the case that Michigan provides the most strategic location in North America for Chinese and Japanese companies to expand.”

After arriving in Shanghai on Thursday, Snyder will provide a welcome speech at the Pure Michigan Tourism Forum, an event being hosted by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. to introduce Michigan as a travel destination to Chinese media and tour operators. Snyder will also meet with senior executives of leading Chinese companies to make the case that Michigan offers tremendous opportunities for Chinese businesses looking to make foreign investments and expand globally.


The delegation will fly to Chongqing for meetings with business and government leaders on Friday and Saturday. Late Saturday, the governor will travel to Tokyo, where he will be a keynote speaker at the annual meeting of the Japan Midwest U.S. Association on Monday morning. Snyder will also meet with Gov. Yukiko Kada of Shiga Prefecture and other high-ranking Japanese government officials, as well as business executives from several large Japanese companies.

Later on Monday, Snyder will fly to Beijing where he will spend the rest of the week meeting with senior government officials and executives of some of China’s largest companies. He will also deliver the keynote address at the Chinese International Auto Parts Expo taking place Sept. 12-16.

Concurrent with the governor’s investment mission, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. will lead business leaders from 15 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 will come together with the governor’s delegation for several key events throughout the mission.

The participating companies are:

  • Active Aero – Troy
  • American Laser Enterprises – Wixom
  • ATCO Industries – Bloomfield Hills
  • B & D Cold Headed Products – Wayne
  • CDC America – Wixom
  • Cherry Central Cooperative – Traverse City
  • Dhake Industries – Plymouth
  • Hybrid Design Services, Inc. – Troy
  • Lorin Industries – Muskegon
  • MessageMakers – Lansing
  • Morbark Industries – Winn
  • Motion Dynamics Corporation – Fruitport
  • Nexthermal – Battle Creek
  • Ort Tool – Erie
  • W.F. Whelan Co. – Canton

Also participating in the mission are Michigan Economic Development Corp. President and CEO Michael A. Finney, Vice President of Travel Michigan George Zimmermann and Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Jamie Clover Adams.

Business leaders and economists estimate large potential growth opportunities for Michigan in China:

  • Michigan companies exported nearly $3.3 billion in goods and materials to China in 2012, up 22 percent from $2.7 billion in 2011.
  • Transportation and auto-related equipment was the largest export item, at more than $1.6 billion in 2012.
  • Chinese foreign direct investment in Michigan reached the $1 billion mark in 2012 and Michigan is one of the top 10 states for direct investment from China. At least 100 Chinese companies have established a significant presence in Michigan.
  • According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, 1.5 million Chinese visited the United States in 2012, up 35 percent from 2011. Chinese visitors spent $8.8 billion on their trips to the U.S. last year.
  • Agriculture exports from Michigan generate nearly $2.8 billion in economic activity, and both China and Japan are part of Michigan’s top five export markets.

This is Snyder’s sixth mission since taking office. He traveled to Israel in June to increase bilateral trade and investments, academic cooperation and strengthen Michigan’s relationship with the state of Israel. He opened the Michigan Trade Center and met with business leaders in Toronto and Canadian government officials in Ottawa in November 2012. He led a 10-day trade mission to China in September 2012, a seven-day mission to Italy and Germany in March 2012 and an eight-day trade mission to Japan, China and Korea in September 2011.

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