By Carol Cain

While more Michigan firms are looking to China to help grow their business,  Asian firms are eyeing this region as a place to set up North American operations.

image2 Michigan Matters: Building Bridges to China & Duggan Endorsing Whitmer

And the “Michigan Matters” panel of DCBA’s Milan Stevanovich, Brian Connors of Michigan-China Innovation Center, and Justin Robinson of the Detroit Regional Chamber joined Senior Producer/Host Carol Cain and talked about the growing two-way economic ties between the two. The show airs 11:30 this Sunday on CBS 62.

Stevanovich discussed DCBA’s upcoming Chinese New Year  Gala held at Henry Ford Museum on  Saturday, March 10. Gov. Rick Snyder, DCBA President Brian Gao, Hong Lei, Chinese Consul General, and 400 others will be on hand.  Cain will emcee the dinner event.

img 0806 Michigan Matters: Building Bridges to China & Duggan Endorsing Whitmer

Also, the roundtable then talked about the region’s ongoing talent gap as Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, former  Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano and Mark Lee, of The LEE Group MI LLC, talked about challenges.

img 0816 Michigan Matters: Building Bridges to China & Duggan Endorsing Whitmer

Patterson, who just hired Timothy Meyer, Oakland County Community College’s Former Chancellor as his Deputy Executive, said focusing on talent will be Meyer’s charge in the new role.

Lee said talent issues remain a problem for area businesses – big and small.

The roundtable talked about Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan finally endorsing Gretchen Whitmer as the Democratic candidate for governor when she opened a Detroit office on Livernois on Wednesday.

Ficano, elected as Wayne County Executive and also Sheriff, talked about the need for Whitmer to spend more time in Detroit and its churches in her bid to become  Michigan’s next governor.

“The path to the Governorship for a Democratic candidate goes through Detroit,” Ficano said.

image3 Michigan Matters: Building Bridges to China & Duggan Endorsing Whitmer

The roundtable talked about Gov. Rick Snyder and his focus on China during his two terms, which has been pivotal to the state’s luring more Asian business.

Ficano, who led trade missions to China during his time as Wayne County Executive,  said much has changed for the region in globalization.

Watch Michigan Matters, Sunday at 11:30 on CBS 62.

Watch Michigan Matters, Sunday at 11:30 on CBS 62.

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