Milwaukee Business Journal - Sean Ryan
May 3, 2018
The group that visited southeast Wisconsin on April 20 also heard a presentation by Alan Yeung, Foxconn’s head of U.S. strategic initiatives, at an afternoon session hosted by law firm Foley & Lardner LLP in downtown Milwaukee, said Mark Maley, communications director for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.
Foxconn Technology Group’s Racine County manufacturing plant site hosted a delegation of 38 Chinese CEOs in April who toured the southeast Wisconsin region looking for investment opportunities.
The group that visited southeast Wisconsin on April 20 also heard a presentation by Alan Yeung, Foxconn’s head of U.S. strategic initiatives, at an afternoon session hosted by law firm Foley & Lardner LLP in downtown Milwaukee, said Mark Maley, communications director for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. The CEOs were in the U.S. for an event organized by the China Investment Corp., a Chinese government state business with $200 billion in capital that is backing a new U.S. investment fund.
It was all part of a tour organized by the state of Wisconsin to encourage the group to invest in Wisconsin in general. Yeung, for example, explained why Foxconn chose Wisconsin for its $10 billion U.S. manufacturing plant, Maley said.
“I understand there was a lot of engagement, that the CEOs had a lot of questions,” Maley said.
The China Investment Corp. (CIC) tour is another sign of how Foxconn is helping to raise Wisconsin’s profile internationally. Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave was part of the tour, and discussed it Thursday during the Milwaukee Business Journal’s Foxconn Flash Forum. Delagrave in September had visited Osaka, Japan, to speak with about 40 Foxconn suppliers.
“Different types of businesses, whether it was banking or construction,” he said of the CEOs who visited in April. “They got to see the Foxconn developments. They got to see Racine County and we got the opportunity to tell them why Racine County is so great and why they should bring business here.”
The WEDC frequently hosts these types of tours for businesses. People inevitably ask Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and WEDC CEO Mark Hogan about Foxconn when the two are visiting abroad on trade missions, Maley said.
Other stops on the April 20 tour included Rexnord Corp. in Milwaukee and Badger Meter Inc. in Brown Deer. They spent the morning at the Global Water Center in Milwaukee, Maley said. The group also heard presentations from A.O. Smith Corp. CEO Ajita Rajendra, Badger Meter Inc. CEO Rich Meeusen, Milwaukee Tool and others, Maley said.
The 38 CIC delegates were among more than 100 who gathered April 17-18 for a U.S.-China Business Summit in Chicago. Walker was among the featured speakers at that conference along with Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin and several Chinese business and government officials.
The CIC and The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. organized that event. Goldman Sachs and the CIC in November announced a $5 billion fund intended to invest in U.S. companies that have business connections to China.
Wisconsin companies’ participation in the Chinese economy were among the points of emphasis in the April 20 presentations, Maley said.