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Snyder In Asia Building Business Relationships

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - Governor Rick Snyder is in Asia right now working on strengthening Michigan's business relationships with China and Japan.

In 2012 Michigan companies exported more than $3.3 billion in goods to China, up 22 percent since 2011. The Governor is bringing 15 representatives from businesses across Michigan who will meet with prospective partners and distributors.

The 10-day long trip will also focus on job-creating business investments. Snyder says he wants to open even more doors to new markets in China.

While in Shanghai on Thursday, Snyder promoted Michigan as a destination for Chinese travelers, but is that all that's on his agenda?




"We want investors and businesses, especially in Europe and Asia and Canada to know that Michigan is open for business," said Charles Ballard, an economics professor at MSU.


Ballard says it can't hurt for the governor to continue to bolster Michigan's image, especially in a market like China. "China is a very important player in the world economy and I think every governor has got to have some visability in China, because that's such a growing market," Ballard says.

Michigan's Economic Development Council says recent trips to china have led to top Chinese auto suppliers coming to Farmington Hills, Southfield and Saginaw, investing more than $500 millon.


"From 2011 to 2012, we saw a 35 percent increase in Chinese tourists in the United States and those folks spent $8.8 billion," Michelle Begnoche, the public relations manager with Pure Michigan. She says a big focus with Governor Snyder's recent trip is getting more people to come here to the great lakes state.


"We had last year $13.3 billion spent in leisure travel in the state, the largest amount of leisure travel we've seen in Michigan," said Begnoche.

Ballard says despite all the benefits to trips like this, it's not necessarily the best way to bolster Michigan's economy. "Sure I want to have trade missions to China, but job one is improving the education and skills of our own people right here in Michigan."

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