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Heading East

Michigan companies travel to China to expand export opportunities; Gov. Snyder looks to attract Chinese investment in state, create jobs

Business leaders from 10 Michigan companies are traveling to China this week meeting with prospective partners, distributors and buyers to increase export opportunities from Michigan to China. The July 29 – August 8 trade mission is led by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation International Trade Office.

“China continues to be an increasingly important and viable market for a wide range of products and services,” said Jennifer Nelson, chief business development officer and executive vice president of MEDC.

“This trade mission will open doors for these companies by helping them identify and enter into new relationships there,” she said. “These Michigan companies, with products ranging from pharmaceuticals to automotive components, will have a unique opportunity to reach new customers in the fastest-growing economy in the world.”

Delegates from the export mission will be attending one-on-one company meetings in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, and Shanghai. The matchmaking events include customized appointments with prospective partners, distributors and buyers in each region. The participants will also receive in-country briefings about doing business in China.

The participating companies are:

ATCO Industries Inc. (Sterling Heights): Provides service in the quality inspection industry with additional services such as supplier development, warehousing/logistics, manufacturing and technical services.
Chrysan Industries (Plymouth): A global manufacturer of automotive lubricants and specialty chemicals.
Emergent Systems/Auros (Dearborn): Global engineering services and technology company serving the automotive, aerospace, energy and consumer products industries.
HP Microsystems Inc. (Rochester Hills): Experience with automotive and aviation electronics, as well as the golf and biomed sectors. It has served many leading brands including GM, Ford, Siemens and Kroger.
Midwest Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Farmington Hills): Pharmaceutical distributor specializing in sourcing pharmaceuticals in short supply for appropriately licensed clients. Midwest Pharmaceuticals offers a wide range of services, which includes: generic and brand pharmaceuticals, exportation of pharmaceuticals, API procurement and sales, over-the-counter products, contract manufacturing, and contract research organizations liaison service.
Orion Test Systems & Automation (Auburn Hills): Global supplier of testing solutions for product validation/design validation, end-of-line, laboratory and production test machinery. Orion specializes in electronic, mechanical, mechatronic, and hydraulic testing for automotive, aerospace, medical, military components.
P3 North America Inc. (Troy): Offers consulting, management, engineering, and testing services with a systematic approach.
OPS Solutions (Wixom): Manufacturer of Light Guide Systems (LGS), an augmented reality tool designed to make factory floors smarter, safer and better. Transforming manual assembly and manufacturing processes for companies around the globe.
• Mackinac Technology International Inc. (Grand Rapids): Developer of a transparent window insulation system for retrofit applications. The benefits of the company's technology include a high insulation level of windows that is similar to typical walls, low cost, and the fact that retrofit reduces the need for window replacements.
Tranor Industries (Detroit): Dedicated to tool and die design, build and manufacturing of metal stamped components for more than 60 years.

Orion Test Systems started operations in Shanghai in 2014 at the Michigan China Center, which was established in 2012 by MEDC to provide opportunities for Michigan companies to enter the Chinese market. Today, Orion operates an independent office in Shanghai with an established customer base and has seen an increasing need for its products in China over the last year. The company has participated in two previous MEDC-led trade missions.

“The 2017 China Trade Mission will allow our team to meet with potential customers from several regions of China and also meet with local vendors,” said Orion President Rob Pilat. “We expect our exports to China to increase substantially by the end of 2018 through cultivating our supply channel during the China trade mission.”

MEDC’s International Trade Program works to extend export opportunities to more Michigan companies and ensure they are connected with the resources to explore new markets, access existing export resources and increase global competitiveness.

In fiscal year 2016, the program facilitated $523.9 million in sales to 121 countries, 53 percent over the actual sales from the previous year. Since it was re-established in 2011, the program has facilitated $1.5 billion in export sales. This equates to nearly 7,298 Michigan jobs created as a result of those sales (MEDC considers $210,000 equals one job).

Business leaders and economists estimate enormous potential growth opportunities for Michigan in China:
• China is Michigan’s third largest export market, after Canada and Mexico.
• In 2016, Michigan exported nearly $3.3 billion in goods to China.
• Since 2000, Michigan’s exports to China have increased by more than 1,400 percent, while Michigan’s exports to the rest of the world (not including China) grew by only 53 percent.
• In 2016, Michigan ranked 10th in U.S. exports to China.

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