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Snyder plans to talk up Detroit in China

Detroit News staff and wire

Gov. Rick Snyder said Monday he plans on talking up Detroit and the city’s restructuring while on a trade mission to China.

Snyder told reporters Monday during a conference call that the Chinese are “curious about Detroit,” and that he will tell them that “Detroit’s coming back.”

A federal judge this month approved Detroit’s bankruptcy restructuring plan, which includes $7 billion in debt elimination and using $1.7 billion to improve city services.

This will be Snyder’s fourth trade mission to China, which is Michigan’s third-largest export market. The Snyder administration estimates that since the former computer CEO made his first mission to Asia in 2011, Michigan has received more than $1 billion in new investment from China, Japan and South Korea.

During this year, Chinese firms have announced plans for new factories or expansions of existing plants in Metro Detroit or west Michigan that would create nearly an estimated 1,300 jobs, according to the governor’s office.

“New business investment in Michigan from China has surged since we reopened relations there in 2011,” Snyder said in a statement. “China makes a great opportunity for Pure Michigan tourism with its growing middle class in a population four times larger than ours in the U.S.”

Meetings will focus on bringing jobs and tourists to the state, exporting agriculture and industrial products, and creating opportunities in China for Michigan firms.

Snyder said at a national cyber conference in Detroit Monday that while there have been “multiple” investments from China into the Michigan auto industry, he also is looking to get the Chinese to invest in other industries.

“We’re looking to broaden that into other fields (like) agricultural exports,” he said. “We’re the second most diverse state in the nation; most Michiganders don’t even recognize that.”

Snyder will leave Michigan Wednesday on the seven-day mission that will include visiting Shanghai, Beijing and three other cities before returning Nov. 26.