State by State: India and Michigan Trade

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Widely known as the center of the U.S. automotive industry, Michigan is home to the country’s three major automobile companies. With 23 percent of U.S. vehicles produces in Michigan, the state is a major player in the global automotive market. Michigan ranks first nationally in concentration of industrial designers and engineers, R&D professionals and skilled-trade workers. 

According to the latest data released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), Michigan’s GDP reached US$451.5 billion in 2014, up 3.7 percent from the previous year. The manufacturing industry, especially the auto sector, contributed a large portion to the state’s GDP growth. Other major industries in the state include defense, information technology, clean technology, medical devices as well as logistics and supply chain.

Trade and Exports

Currently, Michigan exports constitute 3.4 percent of the total exports from the U.S. In 2014, Michigan exported goods worth a total of US $295 million to India, which makes India Michigan’s 20th largest customer. Michigan’s exports to India have grown every year since 2011. India’s exports to Michigan were worth US $997 million in 2014, making India Michigan’s ninth largest source of goods. 

Twenty Fortune 500 Companies are headquartered in Michigan, including General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Dow Chemical Company and Kellogg Company. In 2014, Michigan’s top five exports were transportation equipment, followed by machinery, chemicals, computer and electronic products, and primary metal manufactures. During his trip to India in January, President Barack Obama cited the necessity for increased Indian investment in the U.S., and highlighted Michigan as an example of state where engineering jobs are reliant on Indian investment. 

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Investment Opportunities


Michigan’s primary exports and industries are automotive-related. In 2014, India was the world’s sixth largest automotive vehicle producer, while the United States was the second. Currently, U.S. automotive companies General Motors and Ford both have large-scale operations underway in India, and control a significant portion of the passenger vehicle market in India. Furthermore, India remains one of the largest automotive parts importers in the world, and expectedly many of these imports come from Michigan. With an expected rise in population, improving roads and a growing middle class, the market for automobiles has good long-term growth prospects. 

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Processed Foods

Processed food is one of the fastest growing industries in India. Michigan-based Kellogg and Post Foods are both active in the Indian marketplace, but there appears to be even more room for even more investment as India’s middle class drives demand for Western-style food products. Meanwhile, India may have something to offer Michigan. In the 2013-14 financial year, India exported a total US $4.93 billion worth of processed foods across the globe. India’s largest processed food exports include dried and preserved fruits and vegetables, pulses, groundnuts, cereal grain and beverages.


Household appliances is another key industry that will see growth in India. With Michigan home to Whirlpool, and numerous appliance parts makers, investment in the Indian appliance industry appears to be a lucrative opportunity for Michigan-based businesses. With increases in disposable income, consumers are increasing their expenditure on new appliances such as air conditioning units, refrigerators, washing machines and cookware. The Indian home appliance market is expected to increase by 25 percent between 2014 and 2019. This growth forecast can be attributed to a growing workforce, rapidly expanding e-commerce market and large retail stores penetrating rural markets in India.

Tax Treaty – U.S. Trade with India

The U.S. has signed a Double Tax Treaty with India. This can reduce tax burdens under certain circumstances in both trade and any India legal establishment. Please seek professional advice for specific India investment requirements.

Further Support from Dezan Shira & Associates

Dezan Shira & Associates can service Michigan-based companies that are looking to develop their Asia operations. The firm can help companies establish a direct office in the region and can guide them through the affiliated tax, legal and HR issues that come with doing so. To arrange a free consultation, please contact our U.S. office at

For further Michigan-Asia trade data, please see our related articles on trade with ASEAN, China and Vietnam.

About Us

Asia Briefing Ltd. is a subsidiary of Dezan Shira & Associates. Dezan Shira is a specialist foreign direct investment practice, providing corporate establishment, business advisory, tax advisory and compliance, accounting, payroll, due diligence and financial review services to multinationals investing in China, Hong Kong, India, Vietnam, Singapore and the rest of ASEAN. For further information, please email or visit

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