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Business Attraction Leads Trade Mission to China, Joins Governor in Beijing

Opportunities for China firms to invest in the Detroit region have never been greater, and the Chamber’s Business Attraction continues to provide potential investors the demographic and industry information they need in their investment decisions.

Recently, Business Attraction’s Justin Robinson visited China as part of a 20-day trade mission that included visits to Ningbo, Shanghai, Dalian and Beijing. The mission was divided into three distinct sections, each closely coordinated with a different public and private partners including stops at the 2013 Chinese International Auto Parts Expo (CIAPE) and Governor Rick Snyder’s Asian trade mission. The ultimate goal of each leg of the trip was the same – communicate the opportunities for Chinese companies to do business in Michigan and Detroit markets and build relationships with key governments, associations and companies.

At the front end of the trip, Robinson teamed up with Dickinson Wright for speaking engagements and one-on-one company calls in Ningbo and Dalian. These opportunities were facilitated by the Dickinson China Team ( Mark Heusel, Peter Pang and Lianne Yan) and featured a new presentation focused on a theme continually voiced by the Chinese government and businesses – the realities of doing business in the U.S. and within the North American automotive market. In total, the team spoke to more than 80 businesses as part of two separate speaking engagements and met with numerous companies one-on-one.

The second phase of the visit centered on joining Governor Snyder’s Asian mission in both Shanghai and Beijing. In addition to participating in a handful of private meetings with companies and government officials, Business Attraction co-hosted two receptions with the American Chamber of Commerce in China. Another key focus was to communicate with Chinese media the realities of the Detroit bankruptcy. Governor Snyder and Chamber CEO Sandy Baruah met with a number of Chinese and international media outlets in Beijing to explain what bankruptcy means in the U.S. versus other countries. They also held a press conference showcasing the great opportunities for Chinese companies to invest in Michigan and Detroit.

The final leg of the trip marked the third year the Chamber has coordinated a regional contingent at CIAPE. This year’s team featured Miller Canfield, Oakland County, and the city of Auburn Hills. Highlights included an opportunity to speak to more than 280 attendees at the Auto Industry Action Group’s CIAPE Forum, participation in the Michigan Pavilion (the only U.S. state represented), and targeted calls on more than 50 Chinese and international companies attending this year’s trade show.

Overall, this year’s 2013 fall China mission was a huge success but now the real work begins, following up on all of the relationships, leads and opportunities created during the mission.