Jeffrey Mosher caught up with MEDC's Tony Vernaci. Here's their latest discussion! Vernaci says trip last week to South Korea.
Recently Vernaci was in South Korea with a very full agenda of government to government and business development meetings.
The purpose of the trip was to….
• Meet with executives for headquarters of some of our existing Korean companies in the state
• Thank them for their business
• Discuss their plans for future growth of the existing facilities and/or new operations
• Follow up on new projects we already have in the pipeline
• Follow up on leads for new projects
• Meet with US Commercial Services in the Embassy to discuss our plans for the market and see how other states are currently addressing the market
• Meet with the Korean Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) In addition to those meetings I also met with officials from Gyeonggi Province to discuss our existing MOU that was signed by Governor Snyder and their Governor in 2011.
Approximately 25% of South Korea’s automotive industry is located in Gyeonggi Province Everywhere I went there was consistently significant interest for business opportunities in Michigan.
Automotive is Korea’s primary industry which is an obvious alignment to Michigan Regardless of what side of the isle people stand politically, companies are really paying attend to the message from the new administration in Washington DC with regard to potential changes in our trade policies.
Companies are realizing there is a potential those new trade policies will impact their ability to build product in South Korea and export it to the US market. To avoid the risk, companies are developing plans to develop a footprint in the US. The natural industry alignment with Michigan puts us right in the middle of those plans.
The American Center for Mobility probably came up the most consistently in my conversations. The pace of the developing technologies for connected and autonomous vehicles is getting a lot of attentions and Michigan is recognized as the leader. Companies are extremely interesting in being here to participate.
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