Michigan's global future facilitating trade: the role of0 Detroit's Consular Corps.

Author:Stanard, Alexa
Position:FEATURE
 
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Michigan has a long history of successful trade in manufactured goods that has continued into the 21st Century. The nature of trade hasn't changed, but it has expanded. Michigan companies can increase sales and profits by meeting the needs of the world's consumers, 96% of whom live outside the United States. This is the future of trade and the future of Michigan. (Source: Trade Roots, U.S. Chamber of Commerce).

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World trade in the Detroit region: facts at a glance

According to the World Trade Center Detroit/Windsor, located within 500 miles of our region is:

* 45% of the U.S. population

* 46% of the Canadian population

* 58% of U.S. manufacturing

* 46% of U.S. income

* 45% of Canadian income

The Detroit region is the second largest foreign Trade Zone in the U.S. in terms of zone sites, duty savings and value of goods leaving" the trade zone.

Michigan exports $37.6 billion in manufactured goods to the world. This generates 221,900 jobs supported by Michigan businesses fulfilling customers' needs around the world.

According to Trade Roots, by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce:

* Export-supported employment related to manufactured goods accounts for almost 1 in 16 private sector jobs in Michigan.

* 12,100 businesses in Michigan sell products overseas, and they all employ Michigan residents.

* 88% of the 12,100 Michigan businesses that sell their products overseas are small- and medium-sized companies.

* There are 201,000 Michigan residents employed by foreign companies.

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Mexicans eat Michigan cherries. Lebanese drive Detroit-made cars. Michiganians put Mexican glass in their eyeglasses and Canadian tomatoes in their sandwiches.

Our markets are intimately interwoven with those around the world - and it's partially due to the efforts of international consuls.

Detroit is home to seven Consulates General: Canada, Mexico, Japan, Italy, Macedonia, Iraq, and Lebanon, and a host of honorary consulates. The Consulates General are tasked with serving their citizens visiting and living in the United States, encouraging tourism to their country and, crucially, cultivating two-way business connections and encouraging investment by Michigan companies in their homeland.

"Our role here is to promote political relations and economic trade, and cultural and academic relations," says Canadian Consul General and Dean of the Consular Corps of Detroit, Robert Noble. "We have a business plan, and that business plan affects all...

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