ZEELAND, Netherlands – Lt. Gov. Brian Calley carried a message of strong opportunities for business growth in Michigan during meetings with government officials and business executives on the first day of his mission to strengthen relationships and attract job-creating investments to Michigan.
“We are telling the story of the reinvention of Michigan with both long-standing Dutch companies that operate in our state and others that can benefit from doing business in Michigan,” Calley said. “Michigan’s business climate is greatly improved and we are here to open new doors for trade and business between our state and the Netherlands.”
On the first day of his first investment mission, Calley and a delegation including Michigan Speaker of the House Jase Bolger, state Sen. Arlan Meekhof, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Jamie Clover Adams, and economic developers met with executives from Dow Benelux at the company’s Benelux headquarters in Terneuzen, the second largest Dow production facility in the world.
Dow’s diversified portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastic businesses delivers technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 160 countries and in sectors such as electronics, water, energy, coatings and agriculture.
Calley also met with government officials from the provincial government of Zeeland, and he participated in the Holland America Friendship Foundation’s annual Night of the Stars Gala in The Hague to demonstrate the state of Michigan’s desire to strengthen ties between Michigan and the Netherlands.
The delegation will devote the rest of the week in The Hague, Amsterdam and Zeeland to meet with executives of financial institutions, advanced agricultural production and technology companies. It also will host a meeting with automotive suppliers. In addition, Calley will meet with Dutch companies that have industrial, financial and agriculture facilities within Michigan.
The investment mission was instituted by the West Michigan Global Initiative with assistance of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., The Right Place Inc., of Grand Rapids, and Detroit Regional Chamber.
The Netherlands, located in Europe, is bordered by Germany, Belgium and the North Sea. It is home to some 16,750,000 people. Business leaders and economists estimate large potential growth opportunities for Michigan in the Netherlands:
In 2012, Michigan companies exported $332.8 million in goods and materials to the Netherlands, making it Michigan’s 18th largest export market.
Key Michigan exports to the Netherlands include chemicals, computer and electronic products, transportation equipment and machinery (excluding electrical).
The Netherlands is the seventh largest source country for foreign direct investment in Michigan in terms of projects, with a total of 12 projects and $30 million in capital investment over the last ten years.
The West Michigan Global Initiative serves to facilitate the establishment of significant and long-term business, civic, and cultural relationships between the West Michigan region and the Netherlands; building on the longstanding historic cultural ties between the two communities. The WMGI also serves as the coordinating body of the Legislative Dutch Caucus, a bipartisan political association of Members of the Michigan Legislature established to foster cultural, political, and business ties between Michigan and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. To learn more about the WMGI, visit http://www.westmichiganglobalinitiative.com/.
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