McDonnell leads economic-development mission to Asia

Gov. Bob McDonnell and a team of Virginia economic development officials embarked on Friday on an 11-day job creation and economic development marketing mission that will take the group to Japan, China and South Korea before concluding on May 17th.

The marketing mission provides the Governor and other state officials a unique 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. The team will aggressively and proactively encourage business investment and job creation initiatives throughout the Commonwealth.

First Lady Maureen McDonnell will join the mission during the China and South Korea legs of the trip, focusing her efforts on promoting tourism and the Virginia wine industry.

“We’ve got a great tax, regulatory and litigation environment, we’re a right to work state, we have world class colleges and universities and our citizens can out-compete and out-innovate any other workforce on the planet,” McDonnell said. “As the CEO of the Commonwealth I’m going to meet face to face with business leaders and CEO’s all across the world and I’m going to tell them why they should invest in Virginia. We will not be passive in our efforts to bring good paying jobs to this state. We will not sit by and watch as the jobs and opportunities our citizens need are awarded to other states and countries that choose to be more proactive and visible. There is a global competition underway to attract the job creating private sector businesses that will power and define the 21st century economy. Virginia is going to win that competition. It will mean more jobs and opportunities for our citizens and a better and stronger Commonwealth in the years ahead.”

While on the job creation and economic development marketing mission to Asia the Governor and Virginia officials will meet with business leaders in Japan, China, and South Korea in an effort to increase Virginia’s agricultural and forestry product exports to those countries. China and Japan rank second and eleventh, respectively, on Virginia’s list of export markets, while South Korea ranks in the top 30. China has shot up to second after ranking 14th just 11 years ago in 2000. In China the governor will participate in an investment seminar, promoting Virginia’s business location advantages to approximately key 100 business executives. He will also meet with Virginia servicemen and women stationed at U.S. Army Garrison YongSan in South Korea.

In addition, the First Lady and the Virginia Tourism Corporation will meet with media to encourage editorial coverage of traveling to Virginia and Virginia wine touring. The First Lady and the governor and the Virginia Tourism Corporation will unveil Chinese and Korean translated websites to media in those countries in order to increase direct flight arrivals from Beijing and Seoul to Dulles Airport. In South Korea, the governor and First Lady will hold a media event promoting the new immigration service agreement between the U.S. and South Korea to extend the trusted traveler programs between the two countries.

The governor led a similar job creation and economic development marketing mission to Europe last summer. While on that 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.


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