WUHAN, China — Business leaders from 21 Michigan companies are in China this week meeting with prospective partners, distributors and buyers to increase export opportunities from Michigan to China.
The trade mission, being led by the Michigan Economic Development Corp., is taking place in tandem with Gov. Rick Snyder’s investment mission in China.
“China is an important and viable market for a wide range of products and services,” Snyder said. “This trade mission will open doors for these companies by helping them identify and enter into new relationships there. These Michigan companies, with products ranging from sporting goods and complex automotive components, will have a never-before-seen opportunity to reach new customers in the fastest-growing economy in the world.”
Delegates from the export mission are attending business matchmaking events in Nanjing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guiyang, Wuhan, and Chengdu. The matchmaking events include customized appointments with prospective partners, distributors and buyers in each region. The participants will also receive extensive training on exporting and doing business in China.
The mission participants will also join several of the governor’s investment mission events, including the Michigan Investment Attraction Seminar and Reception, the opening of the Michigan Center Office in Shanghai and the 13th Western China International Fair.
State business leaders and economists say the potential growth opportunities for Michigan are enormous:
* China is Michigan’s third largest export market with exports valued at almost $2.7 billion in 2011.
* China is also one of Michigan’s fastest-growing export markets. Since 2000, Michigan’s exports to China have increased by 1,170 percent, while Michigan exports to the rest of the world grew by only 44 percent.
* In 2011, Michigan ranked 12th among the states in U.S. exports to China.
* Top Michigan exports to China include transportation equipment, chemicals, metal manufacturing and machinery.
* Currently, Michigan exports almost one-third of the crops grown here, generating $2.3 billion in economic activity. China represents a major market opportunity to increase that significantly further.
The trade mission builds on the Pure Michigan Export Now program, launched by the MEDC last April. Export Now provides an end-to-end IT and logistics solution that allows Michigan companies to sell on China’s e-commerce Web site, Tmall, as easily as selling on the familiar U.S. e-commerce sites at home. Michigan companies are able to participate in the first-ever mass marketing of Michigan goods to China in a single place through the Pure Michigan department included in the online store.
The participating companies are Applegate Insulation, Webberville; B&D Cold Heading, Taylor; Dell Marking Systems, Ferndale; Fiber Char Corp., Alpena; General Automatic Machine Products Co., Hillsdale; Gibbs Machinery Co., Warren; Hosco Fittings LLC, Wixom; James Group International, Detroit; Lorin Industries, Muskegon; Managed Programs LLC, Auburn Hills; OG Technologies, Ann Arbor; On Go Energy, Birmingham; Polyflex Products, Wixom; Garden Fresh Gourmet, Ferndale; Gage Products Co., Ferndale; Rec Boat Holdings, Cadillac; Renu Recycling, Detroit; Ross Decco Co., Ferndale; RSVP International Worldwide Logistics, Kalamazoo; The Burn Machine, Redford Township; and Weld Mold Co., Brighton.
This is Snyder’s second investment mission to Asia since taking office in 2011. Last September, he led an eight-day trade mission in Asia, where he met with Japanese, Chinese and Korean government officials and major company executives to promote business opportunities in Michigan. Snyder also led a seven-day mission to Italy and Germany earlier this year where he met with senior level executives from a number of automotive and alternative energy companies, as well as government officials.