Photo: Governor Snyder meets with China’s Vice Premier Wang Yang in Zhongnanhai (China’s “White House”) on a trade and investment mission to China.

Stateside Staff

China is Michigan’s third largest export market. A new nonprofit is up and running, planning to encourage more Chinese investment here.

Brian Connors is the executive director of the Michigan-China Innovation Center.

Connors sat down with us today to talk about how he plans to attract the attention of Chinese investors and why China is such a valuable business partner for Michigan.

“We feel that we need to, as the state of Michigan, devote some special energies and resources to make sure that we are building relationships [with China] and that we’re also marketing the state of Michigan to let them know all the great things that are happening here in the Great Lakes State,” Connors said.

He told us that Chinese firms have invested some $3 billion in Michigan, creating “somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 jobs.”

“The key is … that China’s investment is expected to continue to grow pretty sharply in the next 10, 15 years,” he said. “We want to make sure that we’re able to address the challenges that come with that and also seize the opportunities that come with that.”