Gov. Rick Snyder: China Mission Solidified Key Relationships, Enhanced Lasting Economic Ties

Press Release

Date: Sept. 21, 2018
Location: Lansing, MI

Gov. Rick Snyder has completed his eighth and final investment mission to China, where he led a delegation that met with business leaders and high-ranking government officials in five cities. The Governor reiterated the importance of investment missions and the economic impact they have had on Michigan, expressing confidence that the missions will have long-lasting benefits for Michigan businesses and residents.

"Our eight missions to China have shown incredible results, with Chinese companies investing more than a billion dollars in Michigan," Snyder said. "The relationships we have built in China should make Michigan very proud. These missions are proof that productive dialogue and cooperation with other nations ensure we are partners rather than competitors."

During the mission, Snyder met with executives from 35 Chinese companies with active potential to invest in Michigan products and provide jobs to Michiganders. The governor met with more than 95 Chinese companies through business meetings, roundtables and other networking events.

On Friday, Snyder and his delegation attended the Michigan-China Friendship Banquet, hosted by the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries. The governor was presented with a Friendship Ambassador Award in recognition of his contributions toward promoting friendly exchanges and cooperation with the Chinese people. It is the highest honor given by the Friendship Association.

Earlier in the week, Snyder met with executives from Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., Ltd., where he congratulated the company on its recent decision to expand its R&D operations in Farmington Hills, investing more than $4.4 million and creating 62 jobs.

Snyder has met with GAC during several investment missions to China, including his 2017 mission where he met with GAC President Feng Xingya and other senior officials to discuss the potential of expanding to Michigan. GAC chose Detroit over Silicon Valley for their expansion after that trip.

Snyder also conducted a media roundtable in Shanghai this week, where he discussed Michigan's automotive and mobility leadership as well as the positive economic impact of eight years of investment missions to China. The roundtable was part of a series of media events focused on Michigan's automotive, mobility, and tourism assets that Snyder participated in during the mission.

"We're telling the Pure Michigan story of Michigan's continued economic growth and leadership in the mobility sector," Snyder said. "We are making the case that there is no better place in North America for Chinese companies to expand and create jobs than in Michigan."

In 2018, Michigan ranked third in the nation for the number of investment projects from China. Michigan also ranked first in the Midwest for the number of jobs created by Chinese investment.

Since Snyder's first visit to China in 2011, Michigan has received $1.21 billion in new investment from China, resulting in 6,304 jobs for Michigan residents. In 2017 alone, Chinese companies invested $197.3 million in Michigan, creating 1,078 jobs.

In addition, the number of international visitors from China between 2011 and 2017 increased 84 percent. International travel spending in Michigan increased 24 percent from 2011 to 2017. In 2017, international travel spending was $2.2 billion, with Chinese visitors spending $354.2 million. They were second only to Canadians, who spent $405 million.

Concurrent with the governor's mission, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation's International Trade team led 11 Michigan companies to China to meet with prospective business partners, distributors and buyers to increase export opportunities from Michigan to China. China is Michigan's third-largest export market, with exports valued at $3.67 billion in 2017.

Also while Snyder was in China, Michigan Department of Agriculture Rural Development Director Gordon Wenk led a separate trade mission, helping connect a number of Michigan food and agriculture companies and commodities with Chinese buyers.

This trip, along with Lt. Governor Brian Calley's trip to ITS World Congress in Copenhagen earlier this week, marked the Snyder administration's 29th and 30th foreign investment mission. Other missions led by Snyder or Lt. Gov. Brian Calley have included Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Mexico, the Netherlands, South Korea, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.