When Dave Coulter was describing the location of Oakland County to a group of businessmen in Sweden, he was referring to Eminem.
Coulter, who is traveling to Stockholm and Munich, Germany this week to promote the county and make connections, said he asked for a show of hands from those who know the Detroit rapper. Everyone probably had their hands up, he said.
“It’s amazing how well-known Eminem is around the world,” said Coulter, the Oakland County executive.
“I said, ‘And you remember that movie ‘8 Mile?’ Well, that’s us. It’s our southern border, it’s the northern border of Detroit.
Coulter said, “their eyes lit up.”
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Although Coulter didn’t go to Europe to talk about Metro Detroit’s music and movie references, the cultural reach of Motor City helped him explain a bit about a county with a name that people from other parts of the world sometimes confuse with a city. in California.
The fruits of Tuesday’s trip included a joint statement of cooperation to “promote innovation and sustainable growth in the mobility and advanced manufacturing industries” with Business Sweden, a public-private partnership that promotes Sweden and its businesses around the world.
While Sweden may not immediately come to mind for many when thinking of economic development, Coulter noted that 13 Swedish companies are already operating in the county, and a trip to Stockholm and a “Mobility in the Michigan” at the residence of the United States Ambassador to Sweden. offered an opportunity to connect with even more.
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No less than 35 companies were represented, many of which are growing startups. And for many companies in Sweden, the United States is seen as the ultimate target market, he said.
Building those relationships could lead to more investment in the county, which could mean more jobs, which is a win for the county, Coulter said, noting during a Zoom press conference on Tuesday. that he is confident that the price of around $20,000 for his team of five for the trip will be outweighed by the winnings.
Coulter noted that Sweden and Michigan also have a lot in common, from a similar population size of more than 10 million each, to a place with coastlines and natural beauty.
“But more relevant today is our shared reputation as a hub for advanced manufacturing, which is big business in Oakland County,” Coulter said in a statement.
Coulter noted at his press conference that the Swedish-American Chambers of Commerce are planning to hold an event in Oakland County next November. The group’s website lists its 2023 summit in Detroit (Florida and Arizona were recent locations), calling the summit a “key event to support and facilitate economic expansion and business between the United States and Sweden Not only is the United States Sweden’s largest trading partner outside (the European Union), Swedish companies also create more than 350,000 job opportunities in the United States. Sweden is one of the largest investors per capita in the United States”
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The ongoing week-long trip, which ends Saturday, includes meetings, networking and a presentation by Ingrid Tighe, Oakland and Coulter County Economic Development Manager, at a “Smart Mobility Forum via SEMICON Europa 2022, which is connected to the massive Electronica trade show. SEMICON “focuses on developing semiconductor supply chains and strives to strengthen ties with the automotive industry,” according to a press release.