DES MOINES, IOWA (WWJ) — Encouraging Japanese investment and partnerships with Michigan — that’s one of the goals of Governor Rick Snyder’s trip to Iowa on Monday, where he attended the annual Midwest-U.S. Japanese Association Meeting.
Snyder said that he met with Japanese governors and companies about bringing business and jobs to Michigan.
“These companies come in, and in many cases, they may be exporting back to Japan or other parts of the world,” Snyder said. “If you think about it, that’s what made Michigan a great state in a respect, because we built thing and created things for the rest of the world and shipped them out of our state — that helps generate an opportunity for jobs, it helps generate income for Michiganders. It’s not just the company itself, usually there’s a whole supply chain effect.”
Snyder said that the conference — where a number of Midwestern states’ officials meet with Japanese governors and companies — is a great way to promote Michigan, especially with the recent growth it has shown.
“(We showed) how strong we’re coming back and in terms of encouraging more Japanese investment and more partnerships with Japan in general,” Snyder said. “Japan has had a challenged economy for the last few years and it’s starting to come back. So as they start to come back, I think there’s a real opportunity for more growth.”
Snyder said that while at the meeting he also focused on opportunities for more agriculture in the state, and the recovery of the city of Detroit.
“In terms of how we’re going to hopefully emerge from bankruptcy soon and all of the young people moving into Detroit and to live in the city and the jobs that are coming down there, because the creates great opportunity,” Snyder said. “Other areas I really emphasized to the Japanese were tour Michigan — in terms of being a tourist in our state — and also agriculture. We think there’s a lot of great opportunities for agricultural exports.”
Snyder said that Michigan has a huge Japanese presence in Michigan — with over 37,000 employees who work for Japanese companies and nearly 12,000 Japanese nationals living in the state.