Coulter uses Eminem in European business pitch for Oakland County

When Dave Coulter was describing Oakland County’s location to a group of businesspeople in Sweden, he referenced Eminem.

Coulter, who is traveling this week to Stockholm and Munich, Germany, to promote the county and make connections, said he asked for a show of hands from those who know the Detroit rapper. It’s likely everyone there raised a hand, he said.

“It is 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. That’s our southern border, that’s Detroit’s northern border.”

Coulter said, “their eyes lit up.”

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While Coulter didn’t go to Europe to talk about metro Detroit music and film references, the cultural reach of the Motor City did help 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 the trip as of Tuesday included a joint statement of cooperation that aims 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 globe.

While Sweden might not spring immediately to mind for many when thinking of economic development, Coulter noted that 13 Swedish companies already operate in the county, and a trip to Stockholm and a “Mobility in Michigan” event at the residence of the US ambassador to Sweden offered an opportunity to connect with even more.

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