Gov. Snyder completes seventh investment mission to China

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

– Photo courtesy of Michigan Governor’s Office
 

Gov. Rick Snyder returned to Michigan Tuesday after a nine-day investment mission visiting business and government leaders in six cities in China. The governor expressed confidence that the trip, his seventh in seven years, will lead to significant opportunities for Michigan businesses and more jobs for Michigan residents.

Overall, Snyder met with executives from 83 Chinese companies, 30 of which have active potential to invest in Michigan with projects that could potentially bring thousands of Michigan jobs.

On Snyder’s final day in China, he provided welcome remarks at the North American Auto Professionals Association dinner and met with executives from several Chinese auto suppliers interested in investing in Michigan. The NAAP is a Shanghai-based association of auto professionals who have spent time in the industry in North America.

Snyder also held a media roundtable in Shanghai, where he discussed Michigan’s automotive, mobility and tourism assets, and highlighted Detroit’s turnaround. The roundtable was part of a series of media events Snyder participated in during the mission.

“We are continuing to tell the Pure Michigan story, highlighting the diversity of our state’s abundant natural resources. In addition, Detroit’s comeback has made the city highly attractive to investors around the world,” Snyder said. “We are making the case that there is no better place in North America for Chinese companies to expand and create jobs than in Michigan.”

Concurrently with the governor’s mission, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation led 10 Michigan companies to China to meet with prospective business partners, distributors and buyers to increase export opportunities from Michigan to China. All told, more than 150 export matchmaking meetings were held for the trade delegation companies.

Over the weekend Snyder visited a number of Chinese companies, including Taiwanese electronics company Foxconn Technology Group in Shenzhen, where he met with CEO Terry Gou to discuss the company’s plans for expansion in the U.S.

“I appreciate Chairman Gou’s hospitality and was very impressed by what I learned about his vision for the future of Foxconn. We had a very productive dialogue about the importance of talent in manufacturing and the future of autonomous driving, in addition to a tour of Foxconn’s world class products and manufacturing facility,” Snyder said.

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.

Snyder on Sunday also met with representatives of the China Urban Youth Robotics Alliance (CURYA), a nonprofit organization that works to cultivate interest in robotics among Chinese students. CUYRA is the Chinese partner organization for the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), an international high school robotics competition.

In addition to building a relationship with FIRST Robotics Competition’s official partner in China, Snyder discussed potential opportunities for collaboration and extended an invitation to China-based teams to participate in the 2018 FIRST Robotics Championships, to be held in Detroit next April.

“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.”

The trip marks the Snyder administration’s seventh mission to China. 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.

In response to Tuesday’s powerful earthquake that struck China’s southwestern Sichuan Province, Snyder released the following statement:

“My thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by the strong earthquake that struck Sichuan yesterday. I had the privilege of visiting this wonderful province last week to celebrate the 35th anniversary of our sister state agreement with Sichuan Governor Yin Li and others, and am deeply saddened to hear this devastating news. I offer my sincerest condolences to all those impacted by this terrible tragedy.”
 

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