TROY, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan businesses have the chance to increase their sales if they're willing to give up past inertia and actively pursue new international markets, Gov. Rick Snyder told business leaders Monday at the first of four global trade promotion events this week.
The Michigan Economic Development Corp. is presenting Global Trade Days starting Monday in Troy, where Snyder gave an afternoon presentation.
"There is a world of opportunity for Michigan companies willing to explore new markets for their products, and new products for Michigan markets, all of which can mean stronger business results and new jobs for Michigan," Snyder said. "Our state ignored these opportunities for far too long, but today our programs are re-energized and have, since 2011, helped 400 Michigan companies pursue business expansion through global ventures."
Others events are scheduled Wednesday in Lansing, Thursday in Grand Rapids and Friday in the Traverse City area. The workshops are designed to help companies tap into foreign markets and diversify customer bases.
"The global equation is powerful. A new and diverse consumer base generates more revenue and more revenue equates to business growth for Michigan," said Michael Finney, chief executive of the development agency.
The events include presentations from specialists who focus on Canada, Mexico, China, the United Arab Emirates and Brazil. Officials say those nations are among the state's top export markets.
Snyder outlined the trade opportunities with each of the five countries.
Canada is Michigan's largest export market, and Michigan is the top U.S. state in exports to Canada, he said, adding that Michigan companies exported $25.4 billion in goods and materials to Canada in 2012.
Mexico, Michigan's No. 2 trading partner, bought $10.5 billion in goods and materials from the state last year, Snyder said. He said the state had $3.3 billion in exports to China, $753 million to United Arab Emirates and $693 million to Brazil in 2012.
Global Trading Days: http://bit.ly/1dYmebC
- Rick Snyder