Great Lakes Governors and Premiers Launch Partnership to Attract Foreign Manufacturing Investment

Chicago, ILThe Great Lakes Governors and the Premiers of Ontario and Québec today launched a major new initiative with The Paulson Institute to attract foreign direct investment in regional manufacturing. The initiative will help attract international investment in order to sustain and create jobs in this backbone of our regional economy.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, Co-Chair of the Council of Great Lakes Governors, said, “The Great Lakes Governors and Premiers are committed to competing and prospering in the global economy. This partnership will help foster continued growth in the Great Lakes region by creating and sustaining jobs.”

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, Co-Chair of the Council of Great Lakes Governors, said, “By working together, we can help our region seize the opportunities that the new global economy presents. Our manufacturers have shown they are among the best in the world, and this new initiative will help improve their access to capital in order to compete.”

“Unlike bond holdings, which can be bought or sold through a quick paper transaction, direct investments involve people, plants and other assets. They are, in this sense, a vote of confidence in another country’s economic system,” said Henry M. Paulson, Jr., chairman of The Paulson Institute. “At a moment of considerable transition in the world economy, many emerging economies hold substantial foreign exchange reserves but are also beginning to seek productive direct investments. This includes countries like China, whose companies, for example, have begun to expand their direct investments, including greenfield investments, in the United States, Canada, and other advanced industrial economies.”

In 2005, less than $2 billion of China’s outbound foreign direct investment reached the U.S. By 2013, that figure had grown nearly eight-fold and this trend will likely accelerate in coming years. The Governors and Premiers are ramping up their efforts to strategically attract these investments into the manufacturing heartland of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region. The goal is to help steer investments into productive avenues that are most beneficial to local manufacturing and employment.

The Paulson Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan institution that, among its various activities, develops programs and publishes studies related to cross-border investment, with an emphasis on the United States and China. Its goal in this effort is to help identify tangible opportunities where a serious commercial case for investment exists and the underlying economics and politics are supportive.

Most immediately, the Council of Great Lakes Governors and The Paulson Institute will jointly host a “Competitiveness Forum,” featuring Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, Co-Chair of the Council of Great Lakes Governors, and Secretary Paulson. This forum will be an opportunity to focus attention on the challenges and opportunities inherent in foreign investment in regional manufacturing.

Further action will occur in coming months centered on developing and implementing strategies to help match the “right” investors and recipients to the “right” opportunities. Work will also focus on how to connect Great Lakes/St. Lawrence-based research, development and innovation to foreign deployment opportunities while opening markets.

The Council of Great Lakes Governors is a non-partisan partnership of the Governors of the eight Great Lakes States – Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. In 1983, the region’s Governors joined forces to create the Council and tackle the severe environmental and economic challenges then facing the citizens of their States. In more recent years, the Premiers of Ontario and Québec have joined with the Governors in advancing the high performance economy of the entire region. More information about the Council of Great Lakes Governors is available at