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September 18, 2012: Chamber Departs on Gov. Snyder’s Trade Mission; Chamber CEO Joins Gov. at Midwest-Japan Conference

Detroit Regional Chamber Travels to China on Governor’s Trade Mission

Representatives from the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Business Attraction program are participating in Governor Rick Snyder’s trade mission to China organized by the State of Michigan and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation from September 18-27. The delegation is meeting with government officials and business leaders to strengthen relationships, expand exports and attract new investment to Michigan. The Chamber’s Business Development Representative Justin Robinson will blog about the experience throughout the weeklong trip. Click here to follow Justin’s blog and keep up with the delegation’s trip. The Chamber also participated in the Governor’s trade mission to Europe in March and to Asia in September of 2011.

Chamber CEO Joins Gov. Snyder at Midwest U.S.-Japan Association Conference

Governor Rick Snyder joined fellow U.S. and Japanese governors at the annual Joint Meeting of the Midwest U.S.-Japan Association yesterday in Minneapolis to discuss and promote U.S.-Japan trade and business relations. At the conference, Gov. Snyder said Michigan is the nation’s comeback state and Michigan is doing more than fixing a problem, it’s reinventing the state. Detroit Regional Chamber President and CEO Sandy K. Baruah attended the conference at the request of Gov. Snyder and Consul General of Japan in Detroit Kuninori Matsuda. Baruah met with Japanese company leaders throughout the conference to highlight the Detroit region. For more information, click here.

Gov. Snyder Proposes Transitioning BCBSM to Nonprofit Mutual Insurer

Governor Rick Snyder continued his proactive approach to modernizing health care and adjusting to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) last week by proposing Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) be regulated like all other health insurers as federal reforms are put in place. BCBSM currently operates as an insurer of last resort under PA 50, which is negated under the new law as it requires acceptance for anyone who applies for insurance. Snyder’s proposal would transition the company to a nonprofit mutual insurance company. BCBSM President and CEO Daniel J. Loepp spoke about the Governor’s proposal in an interview with Paul W. Smith last week, which you can hear here. For more information on the proposal, click here.

Business Leaders for Michigan Study Affirms Michigan as Key in Logistics

Business Leaders for Michigan recently commissioned a study reviewing Michigan’s logistics system and interviewing industry stakeholders, local policy makers and shippers in the industry. The result is the notion that Michigan can grow its position as a logistics gateway by accelerating efforts to support and maintain its logistics base and increase investments in infrastructure that support global product movement and identify niche industry sectors to build upon.

“This valuable work by BLM confirms that developing our regional supply chain capacity is not just an economic opportunity, but a 21st century competitive imperative,” said Detroit Regional Chamber Senior Vice President of Economic Development Benjamin Erulkar. “The study’s recommendations on infrastructure and supply chain development are data-based, practical and visionary, and we support them fully.”

To learn more or read the full study, click here.

Chamber Education Trust-Midwest Write Op-Ed in Detroit Free Press on High School Graduation Standards

Detroit Regional Chamber President and CEO Sandy K. Baruah co-wrote an op-ed in the Detroit Free Press yesterday with Amber Arellano, executive director of the Education Trust-Midwest, on the importance of strong high school graduation standards to adequately prepare students for secondary education. The article describes the harm of legislation currently being considered that would weaken the Michigan Merit Curriculum standards passed in 2006. The article goes on to describe the economic impact higher education has on a region and the importance of quality education to the workforce. To read the full article, click here.

Connection Point Brings Together More than 130 Supplies to ManTech Supplier Forum

Last week, the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Connection Point program hosted buyers from ManTech International Corporation looking to explore sourcing partnerships with qualified Michigan suppliers.

The visit, which was presented in partnership with Pure Michigan Business Connect, the Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC) of Michigan, and the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Translinked program, attracted over 130 suppliers and partners to discuss potential opportunities with 15 ManTech representatives, making this the largest buying group Connection Point has hosted to date. The program featured remarks from PTAC representatives as well as a keynote address from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s President and CEO Michael Finney. Additionally, 45 Michigan companies with specialties in ground vehicle maintenance, integrated logistics and base operations were hand selected by ManTech for individual meetings. Read more on this event from CBS Detroit’s Matt Roush here.