“We’re the first state in the country to be doing this,” Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) Senior Vice President Doug Smith said during taping of “Michigan Matters.” “From our standpoint, it’s an exciting way to test the Chinese market,” Smith added. “With currency exchange and other costs, you will never be able to get into the Chinese market any cheaper than this.”Frank Lavin, CEO of Export Now, said that the partnership with the State of Michigan demonstrates the crucial role exports play in economic development. “New customers mean more sales and that translates into jobs,” Lavin said. “Through our unique e-commerce solution, we eliminate the challenges of language, culture and regulation that prevent many small businesses from entering new markets.” Export Now provides an end-to-end IT and logistics solution that allows Michigan companies to sell on China’s e-commerce platform, Tmall, as easily as selling on the familiar U.S. e-commerce platforms at home. With support from MEDC, Michigan companies will pay only $1,000 to sign up with Export Now and use the service for one year, a discount to the standard $3,000 first-year sign-up fee. Michigan companies will ship goods on consignment to an Export Now depot in California, where shipments are consolidated and forwarded to Export Now’s Shanghai distribution center. All companies pay a transaction cost with each sale. Factoring in shipping costs and overhead, goods can be priced for Chinese consumers similar to the prices paid at retail in the United States and at the same revenue per item for the American producer as goods sold domestically.
Further reading, from the Detroit Free Press: Michigan program helps small businesses sell in China.
About MEDC The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is a public-private partnership serving as the state’s marketing arm and lead agency for business, talent and jobs. tourism, film and digital incentives, arts and cultural grants, and overall economic growth. MEDC offers a number ofbusiness assistance services and capital programs for business attraction and acceleration,economic gardening, entrepreneurship, strategic partnerships, talent enhancement and urban and community development. MEDC, founded in 1999, also developed and manages the state’s popular Pure Michigan brand.