Michigan is more business friendly than ever and eager to establish productive relationships with European businesses, Gov. Rick Snyder said today in an address at a supplier reception at the Mercedes Classic Center in Stuttgart.
"Michigan is blessed with a number of strong, productive and long-standing relationships with German-based companies, and to those companies, we say thank you for your continuing contributions to our state," Snyder said. "To those of you looking to expand your global presence or enter the North American market, Michigan is the place to be. We have been busy reinventing Michigan, breaking some bad habits of the past and embracing new opportunities for our future. We see many great opportunities ahead for all of us to do more business together."
Earlier in the day Snyder and the entire Michigan delegation of state, university and local officials and economic developers visited Daimler's training center in Untertürkheim-Brühl. Snyder also met with Dr. Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the Board of Management and head of Mercedes Benz Cars, at the Daimler AG headquarters.
Daimler is one of the Michigan's largest German employers with about 3,000 employees in the state. The company has made significant investments in its 3.3 million square foot Detroit Diesel operation, in Redford since 2000. Its $500 million investment in the "Redford Renaissance" helped to make it one of the leading Daimler truck engine plants in the world. In addition, Farmington Hills is home to the headquarters of Mercedes Benz Financial Services.
Among the reforms the state implemented to attract investment and energize Michigan's economy are:
- Repealing the jobs-killing Michigan Business Tax and ending double taxation on small business with a simple, fair, flat 6 percent Corporate Income Tax.
- Adopting a balanced budget for the current fiscal year that eliminated the state's $1.5 billion deficit and set aside savings to help the state meet its long-term obligations. This fiscal discipline laid the groundwork for the governor's proposed 2013 budget, which recommends strategic investments in key priority areas such as education and transportation.
- Streamlining regulatory processes to weed out laws and regulations that are inefficient or needlessly burdensome, while maintaining proper safeguards.
Snyder arrived in Turin, Italy on Sunday for an eight-day investment mission to strengthen relationships and attract new job-creating investments. He will spend Friday in Ludwigshafen and Lippstadt, where he and Michigan business owners and local economic developers will meet with executives from several German companies before returning to Michigan on Saturday.