The Wayne County Trade delegation wrapped up its 2010 trip to China as news broke that the Chinese auto maker and GM joint venture partner SAIC will purchase 1 percent of GM stock at a cost of $500 million. The business owners who traveled in this trade mission are hoping they can also set up business partnerships within China which will be mutually beneficial.
The photo above, left, shows our arrival in Beijing. And show at right, is Professor Wang, our guest host for meetings in Beijing.
The Great Wall of China is greater than words can describe, on this day, hundreds of people made their way along its path. The locks may be a tourist trap — but one with a story you can’t resist. Lovers who come to the wall can purchase a lock, put their names on it, lock it on this string on the Great Wall and then toss away the key as a sign of everlasting love.
Here (pictured at right) at the Forbidden City, monks enjoy the view.
And (below, left) just outside of Tiananmen Square, someone’s always watching.
As we wrap up this trip it’s hard to forget some of the people we met, like this woman (pictured below, right). She owns 700 massage parlors in China. (As a point of clarification, we are talking foot and back massages). She has 700 employees. She’s an example of the thousands of business women in this country who are taking advantage of it’s growing economy.
This little boy, pictured below, is sorting through some type of nut while his mother manned the family food booth at a Chongquing market. This is how many Chinese children spend their days outside of the classroom. When they get old enough they take over the family booth.
A personal accomplishment on this trip: I finally learned to use chopsticks. Shown below is me eating PEANUTS with chopsticks.
When I first arrived in China on this trade mission, I thought I’d find the story in China. It turns out the real story lies in the people pictured here.
The nearly 30-member delegation represent all walks of life. Eric Huang, of the Detroit Auto Salon who has a dream of seeing an auto parts market in Detroit where manufacturers from around the world can come and shop for any type of auto part. Nawal Hamadeh of Hamadeh Educational Services, who wants the students in her schools to be citizens of the world and traveled to China to open educational opportunities for them. The three members of the Smith Group architecture and engineering firm who are already involved in projects in China but retain the engineering work in Michigan.
Tim Keyes, Director of Economic development for the city of Romulus and David DiMaria with Willow Run airport, both outlining the advantages of the airports to the Chinese as a gateway to US trade. Sam Ellehaf CEO of Royal furniture who traveled to China to find a direct source for his furniture business. Tea Park the owner of the Henry Hotel in Dearborn making a direct pitch to Chinese business people that his hotel is open to them. Just a sampling of the stories of this group of people who see China as a place where opportunities are waiting for all of us in Wayne County and the State of Michigan.
So long China!
– Marie Osborne
Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano lead the 26-member Michigan group, which began an eight-day schedule Friday. Private funds are paying for the trip. Ficano’s office said the group will meet with Chinese government officials, an electric carmaker, trade associations and others during their visit to four cities.
Read more about WWJ’s Marie Osborne’s trip AT THIS LINK.
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