By Edward Cardenas
LANSING (CBS Detroit) – Gov. Rick Snyder is scheduled to return to Michigan today after a week-long trade mission to China where he promoted the state, and formalized a number of deals.
Snyder led the trade mission which covered nearly 18,000 miles, including 4,000 miles traveled within China.
“In the globally interconnected world of today, China offers extraordinary opportunities for Michigan companies to grow,” said Snyder, in a release about his fourth trade mission to China. “The nine Michigan businesses that participated in the trade mission found potential new markets, distributorships and other business partnerships. The Chinese companies and government officials we met with are eager to seek greater cooperation with Michigan.”
During his seven-day mission, Snyder met with top executives from numerous Chinese companies in meetings, business receptions and roundtables along with government officials in Beijing, Shenyang, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Hangzhou.
Additionally, the governor hosted tourism forums in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai to promote Pure Michigan as a travel destination to Chinese media and tour operators. In addition to meeting personally with travel personnel, Pure Michigan launched new website in China to attract tourists.
Snyder also participated in forums with auto and business reporters to address Michigan’s economic recovery and Detroit’s exit from bankruptcy.
Snyder joined the signing of two memorandums of understanding. The Michigan Automotive Office and Chinese Association of Automotive Manufacturers (CAAM) signed a memorandum of understanding to formally deepen the partnership and strengthen future collaboration between the two organizations.
The second was between the state’s auto office and the Chinese Council for Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) Automotive Committee. This memorandum of understanding commits to conducting a U.S.-China Automotive Forum both at the North America International Auto Show starting in January 2015 and the annual, alternating Shanghai/Beijing Auto Show, according to the state.
There were several contract signings between Chinese companies and the state or Michigan companies which represent millions in investment and thousands of jobs. These signings include Rochester-based Air Liquid Systems, Inc. & Hydrotech, Michigan Economic Development Corp. and soon-to-be based in Greenville CITIC Dicastal, and MEDC and the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) subsidiary company, HASCO.
Snyder and the Michigan China Office also hosted a reception for more than 200 leading business executives and officials from the Shanghai region with current or potential interests in Michigan.
In addition to the governor’s mission, the MEDC led business leaders from nine Michigan companies to China to meet with prospective partners, distributors and buyers to increase export opportunities from Michigan to China. The two groups came together for events during the trip.
“Our companies are looking for a more diverse international footprint in China,” said Camille Silda, senior economic development specialist for Macomb County and one of the Michigan delegation participants, said in a release. “The company matchmaking sessions have been very productive in Beijing and Shanghai in particular for international expansion plans in today’s global market.”
The governor also presented gifts of 2011 Gamay Noir Reserve wine from Chateau Grand Traverse – which currently exports its wines to China – in Traverse City and handmade wine boxes made of Michigan Birdseye Maple crafted by Mikutowski Woodworking in Menominee to officials.