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Published: Tuesday, 9/3/2013

Mich. gov. starting 3rd trade trip to Asia

Rick Snyder starting trip with focus on attracting Chinese tourists


LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Rick Snyder on Wednesday will embark on his third trade trip to Asia, this time with an added focus on selling Michigan as a destination to Chinese tourists.

The governor will begin the 10-day mission in China and then go to Japan over the weekend before returning to China for more meetings next week with senior government officials and executives of some of the country’s biggest companies.

Snyder said the focus on attracting Chinese tourists is a new one compared with similar trade trips he took to the region in 2011 and 2012. The delegation plans to have receptions in two Chinese cities to tout the state’s attractions with the “Pure Michigan” tourism campaign.

“China continues to be a place where their citizens are making international trips more and more for tourism,” he told reporters in a conference call Tuesday. “Many of those trips are going to the east coast and the west coast of the United States. I think we’ve got a great opportunity to get them to come here to Michigan. A lot of it is being proactive presenting that.”

As part of the effort to attract foreign investment in Michigan and strengthen trade relationships, the state’s economic development arm is bringing along a delegation of at least 15 representatives from Michigan companies.

Snyder did not guarantee job creation from his trip, but said he felt good that new business will occur as a result of the face-to-face meetings.

The Republican governor decided to leave for Asia a day later than planned to watch Michigan lawmakers finish voting to expand Medicaid eligibility to more low-income residents.

The delegation includes Michael Finney, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp.; George Zimmermann, director of Travel Michigan; and Jamie Clover Adams, director of Michigan’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Costs will be covered by the MEDC’s corporate funds, voluntary contributions to the Michigan Economic Development Foundation and federal Small Business Administration funds.

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