GRCC Hosts Trade Mission

(FLINT, Michigan – SEPTEMBER 30) Vietnamese officials met with leaders in the region today to learn more about opportunities for trade with the United States as part of a mission hosted by the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce.  During the bilateral trade mission, the 12-member delegation met with state and local officials, as well as area leaders to explore partnering opportunities that could ultimately benefit the Flint-Genesee County region, as well as the State of Michigan and Vietnam.

The day included a Trade Investment Forum sponsored by Mott Community College and featured presentations by the Vietnamese delegation, as well as representatives from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the State of Michigan and the Michigan Department of Agriculture.  Flint Mayor Dayne Walling, State Senator David Robertson, Michigan Economic Development Export Director Scott Greenlee, Mott Community College President Dr. Richard Shaink and Tim Herman, CEO at the Regional Chamber welcomed the delegation to Flint.  Regional business leaders also took part in the day-long forum representing Bishop International Airport and CN Rail, in addition to international trade logistics, support and warehousing organizations.  Higher education partnering opportunities were also explored with Mott Community College, Baker College and the University of Michigan-Flint.

According to Herman it is great to have leaders from Vietnam consider Flint-Genesee County as a potential hub for trade between our nations.  “This visit is another sign that the world is learning what we have to offer in this region.  There is an opportunity to leverage our automotive legacy as we diversify the local economy.  And as the Vietnamese delegation seeks the resources to build the trade infrastructure across Vietnam, we are in a position to share the resources and knowledge available in the region, in addition to exposing them to the wealth of strength in this great state,” said Herman.  “By hosting this bilateral trade mission the chamber continues to serve as the convener of collaboration and partnerships for the region.”

The Vietnamese delegation included:

Dang Huy Dong, Vice Minister, Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI)

Nguyen Van Tuan, Chairman, Nam Dinh People’s Committee

Truong Thi Chi Binh, Director, Institute for Industry Policy and Strategy (IPSI)/Ministry of Industry and Trade

Nguyen Ba Cuong, Deputy Director General, Foreign Investment Agency, MPI

Le Thanh Quan, Deputy Director, Economic Zone, Management Department, MPI

Pham Minh Hung, Official, Industrial Economy Department, MPI

Nguyen Hong Hu’o’ng, Official, Public Procurement Agency, MPI

Lu’u Hong Van, Official, Public Procurement Agency, MPI

Duong Van Hung, Official, Foreign Investment Agency, MPI

Le Minh Hien, Official, MPI

Le Tuan Anh, Economic Counselor, Vietnam Embassy, Washington, D.C.

Giang Thang Tung, Economic Counselor, Vietnam Consulate, San Francisco, California

Janice Karcher, Vice President of Economic Development at the Regional Chamber describes the visit as the beginning of what could become an ongoing opportunity for the region to investigate trade and business opportunities with Vietnam.

“Today we started the exploration of bilateral trade between our two nations,” said Karcher.  “The economic potential for the region is broadened by looking beyond our borders for trade partners and collaborators.  We are finding that there is value in the knowledge and expertise that this region has to offer.  Our visitors from Vietnam have opened the door and we will continue the dialogue, so that ultimately export levels will increase from Flint-Genesee County.”

The delegation ended the trade mission with a reception at the Sloan Museum sponsored by Baker College.