State’s ag exports to China skyrocket

Capital News Service

LANSING — In the past five years, more and more of Michigan’s dairy products and prepared fruits and vegetables have been on their way to China, according to export data from Euromonitor International Ltd.

From 2010 to 2014, the dollar value of dairy product exports to China skyrocketed 688 percent, according to the London-based economic analysis firm. In that same time period, the dollar value of prepared fruit and vegetable exports, which include dried tart cherries, rose almost four-fold.

Chris Wolf, a professor of agricultural, food and resource economics at Michigan State University, said U.S. dairy products — specifically powdered milk — took hold in the Chinese market following that country’s baby formula scandal in 2008.
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Michigan aims to capture Chinese tourist market


Capital News Service

LANSING — The number of Chinese travelers and the amount of money spent per visitor are the highest among all groups of international visitors, according to the U.S. Travel Association.

This potential tourism market is capturing the attention of Michigan’s government.

For the first time, Gov. Rick Snyder included tourism in the agenda of his recent investment mission to China and touted Michigan’s potential as a destination for international travelers.
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New visa rules mean increased efforts to attract Chinese visitors to Michigan

Capital News Service

LANSING — The U.S. is making it easier for Chinese residents to visit the United States, and Michigan is working hard to take advantage of this new economic opportunity.

Leisure visas into the United States from China are now good for 10 years, which makes it cheaper and easier for Chinese tourists to come and go. A rising economy and growing upper middle class mean Chinese visitors can stay longer and spend more than they used to, tourism officials said.

About 1.8 million Chinese tourists traveled to the U.S. in 2013, according the U.S. Office of Travel & Tourism Industries. In 2014, a little over 1.9 million had visited by October.
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Some (not all) state wines heading for China, Asia


Capital News Service

LANSING – Significant growth in the wine-grape industry and wide availability of cherries have created a boost in Michigan wine production and its appearance in other states and even other countries.

“The industry is growing fast—nine wineries were added to our list last year,” said Karel Bush, promotion specialist at the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council.

According to Bush, the state has more than 150 wineries with more than 100 of them using home-grown fruits. And half are located along the Lake Michigan shoreline from Traverse City to Southwest Michigan.
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New trade trip hunts business opportunities with China


Capital News Service

LANSING — More Michigan companies are exploring business opportunities in the fast-growing Chinese market.

The latest trade mission by Gov. Rick Snyder and business leaders from 21 companies sought export and investment opportunities for firms in the state.

Snyder went to Asia on a trade mission last year, stopping in China, Japan and South Korea. This trip focused solely on China to continue to build relationships and forge partnerships for new trade and business opportunities, said Sara Wurfel, press secretary for the governor’s office.
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