As part of the Paulson Institute’s series of American Competitiveness Dialogues, Chairman Henry M. Paulson, Jr., joined Michigan Governor Rick Snyder at the Detroit Economic Club to highlight the economic opportunities for foreign direct investment in the United States. Focusing on the manufacturing sector across the Great Lakes region—and particularly in the state of Michigan—the two discussed opportunities and challenges presented by foreign investment in today’s economy. The Paulson Institute’s American Competitiveness Dialogues aim to address misperceptions about foreign direct investment and to create a foundation for future investment opportunities.
Paulson, recently back from Beijing, where he held meetings with China’s top leaders, emphasized the potential for Chinese investments to inject new life into struggling industries, to create American jobs, and to stimulate local and national economies. While meeting with Michigan business leaders, Paulson stressed that the US and China’s shared economic interests create opportunity for US foreign investment and for Chinese investment in the US. “Chinese investment in the United States is creating a strategic economic partnership,” Paulson said. “We need to marry the Midwest innovation engine with the consumption engine in China.”
Additionally, during a lunchtime discussion, moderated by Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce CEO Sandy Baruah, Paulson also emphasized that states must understand and leverage their competitive advantage when considering how to attract foreign direct investment. For Michigan, Snyder highlighted the state’s diverse agricultural production capabilities, world-class research institutions and manufacturing expertise, among the state’s key differentiators. “Detroit is becoming a more viable interest of foreign investment as it emerges from trying times,” Governor Snyder said. “We want the world to know that Michigan is open for business.”
In April, the Council of Great Lakes Governors announced a partnership with the Paulson Institute to help recruit foreign manufacturing investment to the region. Cross-border investment has been an integral focus of the Institute since its foundation in 2011, and the Institute’s programs aim to support America’s established and emerging manufacturing and agribusiness sectors, sustain innovation, and create jobs in the United States.
In 2013, Paulson joined Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman for the Institute’s first American Competitiveness Dialogue, where they discussed the future of U.S. economic competitiveness, the role of foreign investment in generating opportunities for states like Nebraska, and the prospects for enhanced trade and investment with China, particularly in agribusiness.