FROM: Peter Chapman, Executive Vice President, DEGC Business Development
The German American Chamber of Commerce hosted a trade mission here in Detroit last week, and I was there representing DEGC Business Development’s new focus on engaging foreign companies and helping local companies export goods and services more aggressively and strategically overseas.
The 50-person delegation from Germany’s Niedersachsen region — home to Volkswagen, Continental and Airbus, as well as the world’s largest industrial trade fair, Hannover Messe — was led by the Minister of Economics for Lower Saxony, and largely consisted of executives from automotive/mobility companies, a key target for DEGC Business Development.
Through discussions and tours of the Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT) Institute, IAV Automotive Engineering, MCity and the UM Battery Lab, the delegates learned about future trends in mobility during their two-day visit. Ned Stabler, vice president for Economic Development at Wayne State University and TechTown CEO, and I also shared with them the history of Detroit and highlighted the exciting new projects underway in our city.
This was the first of several foreign development investment and export-related forums that DEGC will participate in or co-convene in 2017. It follows the highly successful trade mission to China we participated in last year with Mayor Duggan and Governor Snyder, where we inked a trade partnership agreement with the city of Shenzhen.
In addition to forging an important agreement that lays the foundation for further partnership of inbound investment and export activities, we came away from that trip with two or three viable business attraction leads.
We are keenly focused on China and will most likely do another trade mission with the Chinese this year. In addition, we’re planning to support a second trade mission with Germany as well as one with Michigan Israel Business Bridge to assist in business-to-business export matchmaking.
Read more on DEGC’s blog page