Gov. Snyder completes seventh investment mission to China

By: Tanya Baker

Gov. Snyder touched down in Michigan Tuesday after a 9-day investment mission in China, marking the completion of his seventh China mission since 2011.

The governor visited with business and government leaders in six cities — Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Shanghai, and Hangzhou — to promote business investment and tourism in Michigan. In total, Gov. Snyder met with executives from 83 Chinese companies, while the Michigan Economic Development Corporation led 10 Michigan companies to meet with partners, distributors and buyers to increase export opportunities from Michigan to China. The governor was also joined by Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Jamie Clover Adams, who continued to explore the opportunities for Michigan food and agriculture products in the Chinese market.

Gov. Snyder meets with Chinese media during a roundtable focused on tourism in Michigan.

Chinese investment has increased dramatically since the governor’s first mission. 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.

“With each visit, our relationship with China continues to grow and foster significant economic opportunities,” Snyder said. “We continued to make a strong case with every executive and government official we met 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.”

The governor had a busy first couple of days , participating in a Michigan-Guangdong exchange forum, breakout sessions and an investment roundtable with business executives, talking to Chinese business reporters about Michigan’s leadership in mobility, and celebrating the one-year anniversary of Michigan’s sister agreement with the province of Guangdong.

Gov. Snyder presenting Governor Yin with the original sister state-province contract from 1982

Later in the week, Gov. Snyder celebrated the 35th anniversary of the Michigan-Sichuan sister state agreement, participated in a Michigan-Sichuan exchange forum focused on trade and investment, and held media roundtables to discuss Michigan’s automotive, mobility and tourism assets.

Over the weekend, he visited a number of Chinese companies, including Taiwanese electronics company Foxconn Technology Group in Shenzhen, to increase Michigan export opportunities and make the case for Chinese companies to invest and create jobs in Michigan.

The governor also had the opportunity to meet with representatives from the China Urban Youth Robotics Alliance, a nonprofit organization that works to cultivate interest in robotics among Chinese students. The alliance is the Chinese partner organization for the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), an international high school robotics competition.

Gov. Snyder meets with the China Urban Youth Robotics Alliance in Shanghai.

“First Robotics introduces our youth to STEM in an exciting, engaging, and friendly competitive way. The skills these students learn will also make them more proficient in the technology space as well as build their people skills,” Snyder said. “Any potential FIRST Robotics partnerships with China and Michigan will be mutually beneficial by working together to get more people involved in FRC.”

Other international trade and investment 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.

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