TURIN, Italy - Gov. Rick
Snyder spent the first day of his European investment mission meeting here with
government officials and business executives to strengthen relationships and
attract new job-creating investments to Michigan.
"We are telling the
story of our reinvention of Michigan with long-standing Italian companies that
operate in our state and others that can benefit from doing business in
Michigan," Snyder said. "Michigan's business climate is greatly improved and we
are here to open new doors for trade with and business investment in our state."
Snyder and his delegation of state, university and local officials and
economic developers met with executives from CO.MEC, EDN Group, Fiat suppliers
and FIAMM S.p.A., along with representatives of several financial
They will devote the rest of the week in Germany to meeting
with executives of many of that country's largest companies and Michigan
companies that operate there.
German and Italian business relationships
with Michigan traditionally have been strong, and state business leaders and
economists say the potential growth opportunities for Michigan are
- Michigan exports to Europe totaled $6 billion in
2011, with transportation equipment and chemicals accounting for nearly half of
- Michigan exports to Italy totaled $394 million in
2011, with transportation equipment accounting for more than half of the total.
Italy accounted for 6 percent of the state's total exports to Europe in
- Michigan exports to Germany totaled nearly $1.8 billion in
2011, led by transportation equipment, nonmetallic mineral products and primary
metal manufacturing. Germany accounted for nearly 30 percent of Michigan exports
to Europe in 2011.
- Approximately 80,000 Michiganders are
employed by German- and Italian-owned companies that operate here. These
companies, representing a wide range of industry sectors, are heavily
concentrated in advanced automotive manufacturing and research and development,
sectors well known for producing high-wage jobs.
A traditional practice when visiting foreign government officials is
the exchange of gifts that represent each others' homelands. While in Europe,
Snyder will present gifts of Michigan-made artwork including hand-blown glass
pieces, handmade wood boxes, wood pens, leather boxes and fine photography.
The Michigan-based artisans include Fireworks Glass Studios glassware,
Mikutowski Wordworking, handmade wood pens by Richard Monroe, glass works by
Lynn Dinning, handmade leather boxes by Mike Barnes, and fine art photography by
The mission is Snyder's second since taking office in 2011.
Last September, he led an eight-day trade mission in Asia, where he and a
Michigan delegation met with Japanese, Chinese and Korean business executives
and government officials to promote business opportunities in Michigan.
Follow the governor on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RickforMichigan
and on Twitter @OneToughNerd.
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| Gov. Rick Snyder, far left, meets with Fiat and Chrysler
executives in Turin, Italy.|