Michigan automotive companies are invited to join the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the U.S. Dept. of Commerce – U.S. Commercial Service at the Michigan pavilion exhibit during the 2014 Automechanika Shanghai automotive trade fair, taking place Dec. 9-12.

“As the world’s largest automotive market, China offers tremendous export opportunities for Michigan companies to expand and create new jobs,” said Nigel Francis, MEDC automotive office senior vice president and state of Michigan auto adviser. “Michigan’s strategic priorities for success in our automotive industry are directly connected to global outreach, and China is our highest priority and greatest opportunity.”

Automechanika Shanghai is the world’s second largest international trade fair for automotive parts, accessories, equipment and services. It is recognized throughout the industry as the premier platform for tapping into the Chinese and overseas markets, covering a diverse range of products and services from both OE and aftermarket industry sectors.

The Michigan pavilion will provide participants with large individual units within the booth, booth design and construction, promotional activity and media exposure before and during the trade fair, and turnkey business service support including travel logistics, hotel arrangements, transportation, interpreters and meals.

“Nationally, 58 percent of all U.S. exporters sell to only one market. Exporting can be challenging, but the key to success is having a long-term commitment while actively pursuing an export strategy,” said Kendra Kuo, director of the U.S. Commercial Service office in Grand Rapids. “U.S. exporters that want to expand their sales to additional markets like China should look to trade shows as part of their strategy for taking their business to the next level.”

Eligible Michigan companies who participate in one of the trade fair can apply to receive 50 percent reimbursement of their expenses through the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) program offered by MEDC. The STEP grant program provides direct reimbursements to qualified companies with 500 or fewer employees globally for export-related activities, ranging from foreign market research to international trade missions.

“This event will give Michigan companies exposure to the Chinese market that they may not have otherwise, helping them identify, understand and secure new export opportunities,” said MEDC International Trade Development Manager Weiwei Lu.

Space in the Michigan pavilion is limited to 15 Michigan companies, and the deadline to register is September 30. For more details and registration information, contact Weiwei Lu at luw@michigan.org or by phone at (616) 540-4964. For more information on Automechanika Shanghai, visit www.automechanika-shanghai.com.

Pure Michigan is a brand representing business, talent and tourism initiatives across Michigan. These efforts are driven by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which serves as the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business growth, jobs and opportunity with a focus on helping grow Michigan’s economy.

For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit MichiganBusiness.org. For Michigan travel news, updates and information, visit michigan.org. Michigan residents interested in seeking employment with any of Michigan’s growing companies should check mitalent.org, where more than 78,000 jobs are currently available in a variety of industries.

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