Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) President and CEO James C. Epolito today announced a delegation made up of Michigan business and economic development leaders will participate in an investment mission to China April 19-28. The mission will include a strong presence at Auto Shanghai 2007 and a life sciences forum to make contacts and build relationships with Chinese companies considering investing in North America. The mission is co-sponsored by the public/private Michigan Global Partnership (MGP) and not paid for with taxpayer funds.
“We are working aggressively in China to sell Michigan as the best place in North America to do business and attract new jobs to the state,” Governor Jennifer M. Granholm said. “We’ve had great success from previous missions to Asia and Europe that have resulted in international companies making investments and creating new jobs for Michigan workers.”
Governor Granholm has personally led several investment missions on Michigan’s behalf, including trips to Asia in 2005 and 2006 and to Germany last month.
Auto Shanghai 2007, held April 22-28 at the Shanghai New International Exhibition Center, will showcase a wide range of vehicles, auto parts and aftercare products. The last show in 2005 saw 1,036 exhibitors from 26 countries and drew more than 390,000 visitors from 113 countries and regions. More than 500,000 visitors are expected at this year’s show.
Epolito noted that Michigan is well into the process of building a global 21st century economy with more than 3,760 divisions, affiliates, and subsidiaries representing 40 countries and encompassing all industry and service sectors. In addition, the state is home to more than half of the top 150 auto suppliers to North America. “We want Chinese companies to recognize our state as a global automotive powerhouse and the gateway to the North American automotive market,” hesaid. “As the only U.S. state with its own booth at Auto Shanghai 2007, we are making a strong case.”
The Michigan delegation includes: Howard Edelson and Harry Whalen, MEDC; Jan Burland, Battle Creek Unlimited; Aaron Cooley, Fifth Third Bank; Ray De Winkle, The Right Place; Jennifer Feng-Smith, Shusheng Wang and PeterTheut, Butzel Long; Chuck Holmes, Oakland County; Janice Karcher, Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce; John Plotnik, Southwest Michigan First; Andrew Thorson and Albert Yu Chang, Warner, Norcross and Judd; Laura Wrocklage, Comerica Bank; Dr. Brian Cao, Van Andel Research Institute; and State of Michigan China office Director Yvonne Warmbier-Ramp.
The Michigan Global Partnership is a collaboration of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation with local economic developers and private businesses. More than 20 private sector companies and 30 economic development agencies are part of the effort. Partners focus on attracting business in three regions: Asia, Europe and the Americas. Attraction efforts combine visits to out-of-state and out-of-country headquarters of Michigan operations with visits to targeted companies considering new facilities. In addition, local partners work closely with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation staff to develop attraction strategies. For more information on the Going Global 21 seminars, please visit www.goingglobal21.com.
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. For more information on MEDC’s initiatives and programs, visit the Web site at www.michigan.org.