LANSING, Mich. (AP) -A state board has unanimously approved a $5 million grant to be dispensed over the next five years to encourage Chinese companies to invest in Michigan.

The Michigan Strategic Fund board – part of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. – authorized the money on Tuesday to act as a “business gateway” between Michigan and China and help generate jobs while boosting foreign investment in the state.

The project could create job opportunities, says MEDC official Tony Vernaci, but it would not itself create jobs.

MEDC spokeswoman Emily Gerkin Guerrant says the Michigan China Innovation Center’s role is to “generate leads” that could provide incentives for companies to move here.

Gov. Rick Snyder has visited China to encourage trade and investment.

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