Recruiting foreign business to invest in region makes sense

Anytime stakeholders from in and around the Great Lakes basin can come together to develop business projects that will benefit the area, we think that’s probably a good idea.

But add in a former Bush II administration financial heavy weight and one can almost hear regional cash registers ringing up sales.

Humor aside, that’s what happened Friday in Chicago in a meeting of the Council of Great Lakes Governors.

According to a story from The Associated Press, an organization representing the eight states and two Canadian provinces in the Great Lakes region is teaming with former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson in an effort to attract foreign manufacturing investment.

AP reported Paulson as saying many emerging economies such as China’s are beginning to seek direct investment opportunities. The Great Lakes governors say they’ll step up efforts to steer those investments into the U.S. manufacturing heartland, said AP.

A so-called competitiveness forum is planned for Detroit this summer. The partnership also will develop strategies for matching investors with opportunities.

The concept here is certainly sound: Convincing foreign capital to come into the region in ways that benefit all concerned. We’ll be interested in how this plays out.