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Continued from Page 15
Consider that in 1984 and
1985, Michigan had more new
investment in manufacturing
facilities than any other state
in the United States. In fact,
there was more investment in
the Great Lake State over
those last two years than in
Texas and California com:-
bined. And the pace does not
appear to be slowing.
As part of his role as com-
merce director, Ross also wears
another hat. He is the chair-
man of the Governor's Cabinet
Council on Jobs and Economic
Development. The Cabinet
Council coordinated for the
first time in the state's history
ten different state depart-
ments with one mission in
mind — putting Michigan back
to work. And again,. Ross em-
phasizes that the theme of this
group is to develop Michigan's
"Fifteen years ago," he
points out, "probably no more
than 15 percent of the goods
that were produced in this
state or in this country were
involved in international
competition. Today it's about
And the council works
closely with a commission
made up of some of the state's
top business leaders to devise
strategies to help existing in-
dustries modernize and to fos-
ter the growth of newer indus-
tries. Ross says a number of
factors need changing for the
state's competitiveness to
change: controlling the costs of
doing business in the state
(such as taxes, worker's com-
pensation, energy, etc.),
encouraging improved and
management relations, impro-
ving the educational system,
and getting full participation
by the state's communities to
improve their quality of life
and thus enhance their
chances to land businesses.
Ross says it's still too early to
tell whether as a state we have
learned our lesson from the
ravages of the last recession.
He says it shook us up enough
to realize that we must adapt to
new ways of doing business but
that "my fear and the Gover-
nor's fear continues to be that
as things have gotten better,
people will become compla-
cent, and rather than ac-
celerating our efforts to change
while things were good, we'd
sit back and then wait till
things got tough again."
Ross' constant job changes
have forced him to adapt too.
When he took the Commerce
job in Lansing he faced the
prospect of uprOoting his three
children and his wife Karol
who is a psychologist in Mt.
Clemens. But he didn't want to
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Mission To Israel
The Michigan Department of Commerce is co-sponsoring a
Business Mission to Israel with the American-Israel Chamber of
Commerce and Industry, Inc. of Metropolitan Detroit.
The mission is scheduled for Nov. 15-23 during Israel-
America Trade Week, which is organized by the Israel-America
Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Tel Aviv in cooperation
with the State of Israel Ministry of Industry and Trade, the U.S.
Department of Commerce, the Manufacturers' Association of Is-
rael and the U.S. Embassy. Doug Ross, director of the Michigan
Department of Commerce, and Shelly Komer Jackier, executive
director of the American-Israel Chamber of Metro Detroit, will
co-lead the mission.
Jackier said ,the climate for business between the two coun-
tries has never been better. Israel and the United States have
embarked on a new trading relationship with the signing into
law of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries.
The FTA allows for all duties and other restrictive regulations to
be eliminated on all trade between Israel and the United States.
This is the only agreement of its kind that the United States has
with any other foreign government.
The implications for Michigan business are extremely posit-
ive: increased exports, lower cost imports, generous government
grants and incentives for joint ventures in manufacturing, re-
search and development, and licensing agreements for produc-
tion in Michigan or Israel. Furthermore, Israel can act as an
international switchyard for products with value added in Israel
by U.S. firms entering the European Economic Community.
The business mission will include individualized appoint-
ments with Israeli business counterparts to pursue specific areas
of interest; visits to high-tech industries, new industrial parks,
technical and agricultural institutes and universities, industry,
kibbutzim and military industry; participation in Israel-America
Trade Week workshops led by U.S. and Israeli government offi-
cials and businesspersons.
The mission will be limited to 15 businesspersons so that the
itinerary will be customized to their specific business needs.
Deadline for applications is Oct. 1.
For information, call Mrs. Jackier, 661-1948; or Delano A.
Willis, international trade consultant of the Michigan Depart-
ment of Commerce, (517) 373-6390.
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