Exploring Opportunities in China and Beyond

We at Clayco consistently strive for greatness and opportunities to improve our communities and economy both on American soil and beyond. Our commitment to innovation, excellence, and impact drives us to set new standards in the industry, whether through groundbreaking projects or our dedication to sustainability and inclusivity. Recently, Michael Fassnacht, Clayco’s Chief Growth Officer and President of Chicagoland, traveled abroad as part of the Midwest delegation to China to scope out promising business opportunities. He journeyed for nine days through China, stopping in Shanghai, Qingdao, Beijing, and Hong Kong – and brought back some transformative insights!

The Midwest delegation to China included nearly 20 business executives, civic leaders, and political figures. They engaged with over 50 Chinese companies, including notable names such as Haier, COFCO, CRRC, and Tsingtao Brewery. The regional government and the Chinese Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA) organized business matchmaking sessions to facilitate these interactions.

During the trip, Michael met with leaders from the Chinese Commerce Department and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to gain deeper insights into the current U.S.-China relationship and potential opportunities. Additionally, the U.S. Embassy provided the delegation with a comprehensive briefing, emphasizing the importance of maintaining robust economic relationships and bilateral trade between the two nations.

US-China Relations

Michael’s main observation was that the political complexity of US-China relations continues to be very high. The Chinese economy is facing serious challenges, and business leaders and government officials want to continue the dialog, bi-literal investments, and trade between both countries. Chinese companies want and need to invest and expand in the U.S. The domestic market is becoming highly competitive, with too much capacity in most key manufacturing sectors. Due to increasing U.S. tariffs, Chinese companies feel that the U.S. market provides significant opportunities, both from a higher margin perspective and out of necessity. 

While each business opportunity will have its complexity and challenges, there is a real opportunity for states that are more welcoming for Chinese investments, like Illinois and California, and for companies like ours who understand both the opportunity and complexity of how to design and build successfully in the U.S. 

Connections & Opportunities 

Michael returned with excellent ideas and business insights for our organization that will positively impact far more than just our Clayco team. His numerous engaging meetings with key stakeholders brought productive conversation and innovation to the table, which our Clayco team is eager to channel into new initiatives. 

Bringing more business to America is essential for stimulating the economy and fostering growth and innovation. By attracting and nurturing enterprises, we create job opportunities, drive technological advancements, and strengthen our global competitiveness. As one of America's great companies, we at Clayco are committed to contributing to this economic vitality. We are proud to be at the forefront of economic development, helping to pave the way for a prosperous and dynamic future for all Americans. 

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