China takes a page from Oakland's economic diversification strategy

The Financial Times of London reported last Friday that China is seeking to develop "new strategic industries" or emerging economic sectors. They include alternative fuel cars, biotechnology, environmental and energy-saving technologies, alternative energy, advanced materials, new-generation information technology, and high-end equipment manufacturing.

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said, with tongue firmly implanted in cheek, "It's nice to see China copying Oakland County. China wants to transition its economy from manufacturing to high value, high technology goods--something we've been doing in Oakland County since 2004."

China's foray into "new strategic industries" mirrors Oakland County's Emerging Sectors which include advanced electronics; advanced materials/nanotechnology; aerospace; alternative energy; communications & IT; defense/homeland security; film & digital media; finance, insurance, real estate; Medical Main Street (medical and life sciences); and robotics.

Since its inception in 2004, Emerging Sectors companies have invested more than $1.7 billion in Oakland County creating nearly 25,000 jobs and retaining more than 10,000 jobs, according to the most recent Emerging Sectors report published Monday.

The fastest growing Emerging Sectors in Oakland County are Medical Main Street, alternative energy and communications & IT.

"The goal of my Emerging Sectors is to produce high-paying, sustainable jobs that in 20 years will make Oakland County recession resistant and our strategy is paying off," said Patterson.

Published: Wed, Aug 10, 2011