Trips abroad pay off for MI economy, governor says

Since 2004, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm has made a dozen trips abroad, looking to attract money to the state economy. During her weekly radio address, Gov. Granholm said her “investment missions” have netted the sate nearly $2 billion, creating or retaining more than 20,000 jobs.

From Germany to Japan, Israel to Italy the Michigan governor has joined a cadre of governors increasingly looking abroad for investment dollars. Neighboring Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is on an 11-day trip to Asia where he just wrapped up the China leg. Gov. Daniels said Friday that around 20 Chinese companies are “very seriously interested” in opening operations in his state.

In Michigan, preliminary results from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that unemployment remains at 13 percent. The state has not seen unemployment dip below that mark since March of last year. For these reasons and more, Gov. Granholm said she’ll continue to go anywhere in search of new investment and jobs for the state.

Highlights according to Gov. Graholm include:

  • $483 million invested from German companies, which led to narly 5,000 jobs
  • $348 million in Japanese automotive investments where 2,500 jobs were created or retained
  • Expanded capacity of a wind turbine foundry owned by Sweden’s URV USA
  • Further investment from South Korea’s LG Chem to build battery cells and electrolyte production in West Michigan

“In total, my 12 overseas missions have resulted in 50 companies announcing nearly $2 billion in new investment in Michigan and more than 20,000 new or retained jobs,” Gov. Granholm said in the address.

Additional trips over the last six years has taken the governor to Italy, Austria, Belgium, France, Israel and Jordan.

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