Governor Rick Snyder said he will return to China in the next year, after completing his first trade mission in that country.
In the meantime, he said there’s a lot of follow-up to do in Michigan, to develop brand-new relationships with Chinese business leaders.
Governor Snyder spent a day in Beijing, the Chinese capital, and a day in Shanghai, the country’s international commerce center.
He said he was pleasantly surprised at how interested Chinese business leaders seem in closer business ties with Michigan. He said one possibility is getting Chinese mining companies, who want to expand overseas, to take a look at mining copper and other deposits in the U.P.
"It’s another export from our state, and the main thing is we do it in an environmentally conscious way and we put in the structure to do that," said Snyder.
Governor Snyder also highlighted his new “Global Michigan Initiative,” which he says should help create jobs in the state.
The initiative is designed to encourage talented immigrants to settle in Michigan.
The Global Michigan Initiative began two months ago.
While speaking in Shanghai, Snyder said the initiative will expand over the next few years to include cultural programs, more trade missions, and a visa program.
"There are a number of states that are unfortunately discouraging immigration, and I believe it should be the opposite, and the empirical support is there by encouraging immigration you actually create jobs for people in your community," said Snyder. " It’s a job creator."
The Governor is now on his way to South Korea, after a two-day stay in China.
This is Snyder’s first trade mission, and he says it was easier to make a pitch for the state’s positive business environment than he expected.
That’s because some of the Chinese business leaders he met with had already done some homework on Michigan.
"The most pleasant surprise was just the positive response of people in China and businesses in particular, that many of them are seriously looking at Michigan already as a good place to do business, and I was happy to see that they mentioned tax reform is a good reason for them to come, having a balanced budget is a major item," said Snyder.
The Governor will be in Seoul next, where he will sign a memorandum of understanding with the Governor of Gyeonggi Province. The agreement states that Michigan and the Province will work together to establish trade.
Snyder will return to Michigan on Saturday.