Monday, June 07, 2004
MEDC to Focus on Attracting International Investment, Promoting Exports
"Our world is getting smaller by the minute," Granholm said. "Michigan is already home to more than 1,000 companies representing more than 20 countries. These include the R&D and technical centers of most of the world's automakers. The International Development office will build on our existing strengths and give Michigan more muscle in an increasingly competitive global economy."
In her 2004 State of the State address, Governor Granholm announced a focused seven-point plan for economic growth. Increasing the state's presence as a competitor in world markets is an integral part of her overall plan designed to create jobs for Michigan workers.
The International Development office will serve as the focal point for international business inquiries with the state of Michigan. The staff of ten includes two current trade directors at Michigan offices in Shanghai and Mexico City. The office's activities will include generating investment and trade leads, promoting the advantages of Michigan locations for international investors and identifying opportunities for Michigan exporters in overseas markets.
Michigan ranks 8th in the nation for number of employees supported by U.S. subsidiaries of foreign companies, according to the Organization for International Investment. It is estimated that these companies are responsible for the creation of 244,200 jobs, providing the primary source of income for more than six percent of Michigan's private-sector workforce. Approximately 52 percent of these jobs are in manufacturing industries. Total foreign direct investment by U.S. subsidiaries totaled $82 billion in 2003, more than double the amount in the previous year.
Michigan has maintained an oversesas presence for more than 30 years, and the MEDC is investigating the potential benefits of strengthening economic relationships with Canada, Japan, and certain European and South American nations.
"Increased global competition creates limitless opportunities for Michigan companies," MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway said. "Michigan is the nation's fifth-largest exporter and accounts for the largest share of U.S. exports of autos, trucks and parts. It is too powerful a nation-state to not be recognized as a major international player."
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life.