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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

What can Rogers City Learn from China?

Rogers City has a lot to learn from China.  In the article below, wherever you see "Detroit" substitute "Rogers City."  Anyone who knows Rogers City will see a similarity.  This question is adapted from an article (below) by Tom Watkins a reporter for the Detroit News:

The city that put the world on wheels, the Arsenal of Democracy, the Motor City, Detroit, has filed for bankruptcy. A once-proud city is humiliated in the world’s eye.
Detroit can learn from China about how to turn adversity into strength. China suffered through a century of humiliation to a historical rise to preeminence today.
Wei Yuan, a Chinese scholar attempted to combine traditional scholarly knowledge with practical experience to find workable solutions to problems of the day. In his book, Records of the Conquest, Wei writes, “Humiliation stimulates effort; when a country (city) is humiliated, its spirit will be aroused” or “To feel shame is to approach courage.”
With insight and leadership China could play a role in revitalizing a once iconic American city.
We need to pay attention as China returns to a historical position of strength. It must be noted, China had the world’s largest economy — 18 out of the past 20 centuries.
The China-United States Exchange Foundation, a non-government and nonprofit organization based in Hong Kong seeks to foster a strengthened and improved relationship between China and the United States under the leadership of Tung CheeHwa, vice chairman of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and founder and chairman of the foundation, recently released a report: “U.S.-China Economic Relations in the next Ten Years.”
It should be mandatory reading for government and business leaders with an interest in rebuilding Detroit.
The report concludes that Beijing and Washington share the desire to “establish a pattern of secure, high-quality sustainable growth and employment for their people.”
It could be argued in the early days of the normalization of the relations between China and the U.S. that the China bridge was more of a one-way span in China’s favor. That certainly is not true today.
Chinese investment in the U.S. is at an all-time high.
According to the Heritage Foundation, total Chinese investment in the U.S. since 2005 stands at $54 billion, and expected to grow significantly over the next decade.
According to the Asia Society, the Chinese will be seeking overseas investment opportunities from $1-2 trillion over the next decade.
Detroit needs to be aggressive about securing a chunk of this Chinese investment.
Michigan’s business community now includes more than 50 major Chinese companies that have invested more than $1 billion in our state and growing,” recounted Michael A. Finney, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
As our new immigrant and business-friendly governor, Rick Snyder, who has traveled to China twice as governor with a third trip planned for this fall, likes to say: “Michigan is open for business.” Investment in Detroit ought to be a priority of the governor’s upcoming China trip.
Snyder is seeking foreign direct investment in our state and wants to export our agricultural products, technology know-how and other goods and services around the globe.
As the report, “U.S.-China Economic relations in the next ten years,” spells out, over the course of the next decade this important economic relationship has the potential to create enormous economic opportunities and millions of jobs, as well as public good, globally.
Chinese Consul General Zhao Weiping, based in Chicago, recently said, “Michigan has many ingredients: Economic, social, cultural and educational that make it attractive to Chinese investors, and I suspect as the relationship matures, the investments and job creation will only continue to grow.”
John McElory, a global auto expert and president of Blue Sky Productions, understands Detroit is a fountain of opportunity for Chinese investors: “The Chinese are coming to Michigan because when they look around they don’t see shuttered factories, they see nothing but opportunity.”
Detroit can rise like a phoenix from the ashes of humiliation.
Remember, “To feel shame is to approach courage.”
Tom Watkins is a U.S./China business and educational consultant.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130724/OPINION01/307240001#ixzz2ZzQO09tn

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