McDonnell to lead European trade mission
Gov. Bob McDonnell and a team of Virginia economic development officials will embark Monday, June 11 on a nine-day job creation and economic development marketing mission that will take the group to Germany, Switzerland, Great Britain and Sweden before concluding on June 20.
Building on the enormous success of past international economic development missions, the European marketing mission will provide the governor and other state officials an opportunity to strengthen Virginia’s relationship with foreign companies that already have a Virginia presence and to share Virginia’s story with prospective corporate investors and importers.
Among those accompanying the governor on the mission are Secretary of Commerce and Trade Jim Cheng, Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore and senior officials from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Virginia Tourism Corporation, and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. First Lady Maureen McDonnell will also join the mission, focusing her efforts on promoting tourism and the Virginia wine industry.
“It is so critical, in today’s global economy, that we are telling the Virginia story not just to businesses across the United States, but also to companies around the world,” McDonnell said. “Our past international economic development and job creation missions have yielded enormous results for the Commonwealth. In fact, in the last two years alone we have worked with our private sector partners to close approximately $200 million in new agricultural export deals.”
Since taking office, the governor has led five international job creation and economic development marketing missions that have resulted in greater exports from Virginia to countries around the world, as well as new businesses ventures coming to the Commonwealth. The governor has worked directly with foreign purchasers and a number of the Commonwealth’s agribusinesses during prior missions to help secure approximately $200 million in new agricultural exports, including soybeans and wine shipments to China, beef cattle to Canada, and wine, seafood, and specialty foods to the European Union.
While on his 2010 European mission he met with officials with The Hornschuch Group, a leading producer and marketer of highly technical films, and helped close a lucrative economic development deal that led to the company investing $28.3 million to expand its O’Sullivan Films operation in Winchester.
The project will create 174 new jobs in the Winchester area. In 2011, Gov. McDonnell led a job creation and economic development marketing mission to Japan, China and South Korea. The mission has already resulted in a number of economic development deals. Additionally, Governor McDonnell has attended both the Farnborough and Paris Airshows to promote and secure partnerships with the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing.
While on the job creation and economic development marketing mission to Europe the governor and Virginia officials will promote Virginia’s agricultural and tourism industries, and meet with business leaders in Germany, Switzerland, Great Britain and Sweden.