Snyder strengthens ties with China to boost investment, increase exports, create jobs


– Photo courtesy of The Executive Office of the Governor

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (seated, left) is on an eight-day investment mission to China where he is promoting tourism to Michigan and building upon recent successes in attracting new job-creation business investments.


Gov. Rick Snyder, in Beijing, China Tuesday, joined with Chinese Ministry of Commerce Deputy Minister Zhang Xiangchen in a pledge to strengthen cooperation and expand economic activity between Michigan and China in hopes of boosting trade and investment, and creating more and better jobs.

As part of his fifth trade mission to China, Snyder and Xiangchen presided over the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Michigan and representatives of four of China’s provinces and one of its major cities. The four provinces – Guangdong, Sichuan, Hubei and Zhejiang – and city of Chongqing have combined populations of nearly 195 million people, or more than 19 times that of Michigan.

Michigan is one of only five of states and cities to have reached agreement with five major industrial regions of China. The agreement aims to strengthen friendly contacts between Michigan and each province or city. It enables the jurisdictions to increase cooperation and carry out exchanges in industry and agriculture, economic activities and trade, science and technology, culture and education, sports and health, travel and tourism, and other fields.

“Today’s memorandum of understanding is an important accomplishment and we will see its value in coming years,” Snyder said. “We can take pride in our state’s legacy as one of the first in the nation to formalize relations with China. We build upon that with today’s agreement and mutual commitment to continue our friendship and further promote the economic and cultural development of the state of Michigan and these regions of China.”

To further enhance relationships between China and Michigan, Snyder also met with Yang Jiechi, State Councilor of China, and the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship Foreign Countries Chairwoman Li Xiaolin.

Snyder also met with several automotive organizations including the Chinese Association of Automotive Manufacturers and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Auto Committee, where he lauded the rebound of the automotive industry, from its notable job growth over the past five years to the cutting edge technologies designed there that are changing the future of transportation.

“We are incredibly excited about the future of Michigan’s auto industry,” Snyder said. “Researchers are predicting that there will be more innovations in vehicle technology and materials during the next 10 years than all that has occurred in the past century. Michigan is the center of U.S. automotive research and technology development and will lead in the coming transformation of the industry.”

Michigan remains ranked at the top in terms of both U.S. vehicle production and high-tech innovation, said Kevin Kerrigan, senior vice president of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Michigan Automotive Office.

“Over the past five years, more than 100 Chinese enterprises have invested more than $1 billion in Michigan, and much of the capital has been injected into the automobile industry,” Kerrigan said.

“When you take into account the diversification of the state and Detroit’s economy to include the medical research, education, IT, and advertising industries, there is no better time than now to invest in Michigan.”

The events were part of Snyder’s eight-day investment mission to China, where he is promoting tourism to Michigan and building upon recent successes in attracting new job-creation business investments. He will meet with business leaders and senior government officials in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hangzhou and Shanghai in addition to Beijing. Other missions led by Snyder or Lt. Gov. Brian Calley have included Japan, South Korea, Canada, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Brazil, Mexico, Israel, Chile and Columbia.

Follow the governor’s trip on social media at #InvestInMI.