Guangdong Michigan Economic Trade Cooperation Conference Report

By Alina Dong
Detroit, MI — China (Guangdong)-USA (Michigan) Economic & Trade Cooperation Conference, a high-level meeting to enhance cooperation between Chinese and American companies, took place at the Renaissance Center in Downtown Detroit on Monday, April 13, 2015.
Co-hosted by Detroit Chinese Business Association (DCBA) and Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), the event witnessed over 150 participants from both China and the US, mostly in the automotive and manufacturing industries.
Michael A. Finney, senior advisor for Economic Growth of Michigan State Government, gave an opening speech, saying he looks forward to the continued business relationships between Michigan and Guangdong.
Weiping Zhao, consul-general of Consulate-General of China in Chicago, also attended the conference and gave a speech. He said Guangdong is China’s most economically developed region, while Michigan is an important state in terms of manufacturing, science and technology, and agriculture, which create great opportunities for both parties to cooperate.
Xingrui Ma, senior advisor of Guangdong Provincial Government who led the Chinese delegation of 40 companies, said the purpose of the conference is to enhance the understanding of Guangdong and Michigan, and strengthen the two-way economic and trade cooperation, especially in the automotive industry, so that both parties can achieve development together. He pointed out seven areas with potentials for Guangdong and Michigan to cooperate, including general aviation, advanced equipment manufacturing, e-commerce, electronic information, new energy, energy saving and environmental protection, and medical equipment, and elaborated on specific suggestions in cooperation. In Ma’s speech, he also introduced China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ), which is the province’s effort to enhance regulatory transparency and create more convenient trade and investment environment. 
“Michigan is the right place to do business,” said Tony Vernaci, VP of Global Business Development at Michigan Economic Development Corporation, who also moderated the conference. The state’s economic activity is currently at a ten-year high, unemployment is at its lowest in seven years, and the Gross State Product is projected at $408.22 billion.
Following Vernaci’s speech, Guangzhou Automobile Industry Group Co. and American Axle Manufacturing shared their company’s experience of development respectively.
“I’m very glad that We have been growing and developing together for the past 20 years and we will continue to grow together in the future. We provide a platform for making friends, exploring business opportunities, and growing both side business.” said Jerry Xu, president of DCBA. DCBA is a co-organizer of the conference, and also the largest nonprofit organization in the Detroit area that serves to foster a bilateral business relationship between the U.S. and Chinese companies.