TORONTO – Gov. Rick Snyder today celebrated the grand opening of the Michigan Trade Office in Canada that will promote trade, tourism and cultural exchanges between Michigan and Canada. IMECO Corporation of Iron Mountain is participating in the effort.
“The Michigan Trade Office builds upon the strong foundation we have with Canada,” Snyder said. “It will add to the level of service we can offer our businesses, strengthen our relationship on many fronts, and expand mutually beneficial opportunities for our businesses and citizens.”
The Michigan Trade Office provides a physical presence for Michigan with office space and staffing provided through a collaborative program of the Great Lakes Council of Governors and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. The office will help Michigan companies to research, identify and capitalize on market opportunities in a broad range of industry sectors across Canada.
Snyder today also provided keynote remarks at the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnership’s 15th anniversary luncheon, and will meet with Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty to discuss issues of mutual interest including the New International Trade Crossing (NITC) agreement that was signed by Snyder and Canadian officials in June to provide for a modern, strategically placed bridge between Canada and Michigan.
“With our NITC agreement in place, the opportunities to expand the benefits of our Michigan-Canada partnership are even greater,” Snyder said. “This mission has allowed us to explore ways we can further strengthen this highly productive relationship.”
Snyder met with Ontario and Canadian government officials and key business executives Sunday to strengthen trade relationships and attract job-creating business investments.
Concurrent with the governor’s visit, business leaders from six Michigan companies are in Canada this week meeting with prospective partners, distributors and buyers to increase export opportunities from Michigan to Canada. In addition to one-on-one matchmaking appointments, the group will receive customized market research, market entry strategy and business service support. The trade mission is being led by the MEDC.
“Canada is an important and viable market with great demand for Michigan products and services across multiple sectors,” Snyder said. “This trade mission will open doors for these companies by helping them identify and enter into new relationships here.”
The mission participants also met personally with Snyder and joined him for the opening of the Michigan Trade Center.
The participating companies are:
· B&D Cold Heading – Taylor
· baabaazuzu – Lake Leelanau
· IMECO Corporation – Iron Mountain
· Prime Solutions, Inc. – Otsego
- Ralco Industries, Inc. – Auburn Hills
- RSVP International Worldwide Logistics – Kalamazoo
Two of the companies, B&D Cold Heading and RSVP International, also took part in an MEDC-led export mission to China in September.
Canada, Michigan’s largest trading partner, offers enormous growth opportunities for Michigan businesses:
- Michigan is the top state in the U.S. for exports to Canada, with Michigan companies exporting $23.4 billion in goods and services to Canada in 2011.
- Michigan exports to Canada represent 46 percent of the state’s worldwide total.
- There are 243 Canadian-owned companies in Michigan that employ 22,500 Michiganders in 702 locations.
The mission is Snyder’s fourth since taking office in 2011. He led a 10-day trade mission to China in September, where he met with government officials and major company executives in five cities to promote business opportunities in Michigan. In September 2011, he led an eight-day trade mission in Asia, where he met with Japanese, Chinese and Korean government officials and major company executives to promote business opportunities in Michigan. Snyder also led a seven-day mission to Italy and Germany earlier this year where he met with senior level executives from a number of automotive and alternative energy companies, as well as government officials.