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Elite Talk: A 'Chinese dream' from an US Governor

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Zhenyu Li: Everybody has his own dreams, but this one is a little different.

Rick Snyder: If you look at that both from a people point and a dollar investment point, there's a huge opportunity for the Chinese to look to Michigan.

Zhenyu Li: That's Rick Rick Snyder, Governor of Michigan. The Republican Governor of the United States has a special dream, a "Chinese dream".

Rick Snyder: We hope to really establish a good partnership relationship with China. We want to be known as one of the open places for business that encourage international trade and immigrants to come, and an exciting place. And we want to get the message out that Michigan is open for business, because we've gone through very difficult times.

Zhenyu Li: In July this year, Detroit, Michigan's largest city and the cradle of the automotive industry filed the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history.

So Rick Snyder's "Chinese dream" is to attract Chinese enterprises to invest in the US State of Michigan, especially the city of Detroit, and establish a stronger business ties with the world's second-largest economy.

Rick Snyder: It's important to renew that good relationship, because the future is about global business, and about creating positive relationships and understanding that brining in cultures together is actually a great power for the future. The successful businesses of the future will be those that seize opportunities in growing economies such as China.

Zhenyu Li: So, have you found enough business opportunities here?

Rick Snyder: Yes. There are lots. The good part is that the automotive industry and the agricultural area are two areas that have really been highlighted, but almost any area, that there's common ground to do business. It's very exciting. And I think there's good opportunity to tie in our research universities and our technology. They really grow together. And there're also many market opportunities in China, the sales in China, the export and the new business here. We are very excited about the opportunity.

Zhenyu Li: Besides establishing a good partnership relationship with China, Rick Snyder's biggest "Chinese dream" is to attract Chinese investment. In fact, some Chinese investors have already started buying property in Detroit due to the low prices, to which Rick Snyder said "that would be quite helpful."

Rick Snyder: Detroit is the value place in the United States, in Michigan, and potentially the world in terms of a great value opportunity to say, come and invest now, because there's going to be great up-side.

Zhenyu Li: Some Chinese investors have seemed receptive to the idea that there are opportunities in Detroit, whether it's for individuals investing in low-price real estate or for businesses considering the area to expand into the North American market.

Rick Snyder: We think we have great values now in Michigan and we are creating a very competitive environment for enterprises to succeed and do well. We've redone our tax system, our regulatory system; we've just balanced our budget. So we're doing many things to be very business-friendly.

Zhenyu Li: Statistics show that Chinese direct investment to Michigan reached the $1 billion mark in 2012, making the area one of the top 10 US states receiving direct investment from China.

When asked how the Chinese investment can specifically help Michigan, Rick Snyder answered definitely:

Rick Snyder: They can do a lot. I think there's a huge investment opportunity in terms of large-scale investment. One of the other things I'm working on I would like to solve — I had a session here a while ago — immigration, in terms of finding more ways to get more immigration to the United States, in terms of keeping a lot of these bright engineers going to Michigan. They are job-generators. It's a misunderstanding to think they take jobs. They add jobs.

Zhenyu Li: For US Governor Rick Rick Snyder, whether his "Chinese dream" can become a reality, for the most part, hinges on his follow-up actions; and the Republican Governor of the United States believes his "Chinese dream" will be a dream come true.

Rick Snyder: We are going to be very quickly to show that what we're doing are action-based, not just stand and talk, in terms of being among the most business-friendly states in our entire country.

(This is a reprint from the People's Daily Online of the December 24, 2013 edition.)

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