Governor Bob McDonnell, several cabinet secretaries and a team of Virginia economic development officials will embark Wednesday, April 10 on a 16-day job creation and economic development marketing mission to Los Angeles, San Francisco, China and Japan before concluding on April 26.
In California, the Governor will partner with Utah Governor Gary Herbert in California to co-market Virginia and Utah to companies that might be looking to expand in the U.S. Both states have similar assets and target industries, and are ranked the top two Best States for Business according to Forbes.com. This partnership allows Virginia and Utah to jointly offer companies options in their growth strategy, which could include an East Coast or Mountain West location depending on their specific needs.
From there, the Virginia delegation will continue on to China and Japan 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. Agricultural exports to China, largely driven by new soybean and grain shipments facilitated during the governor's 2011 trade mission, have increased by almost 230 percent since 2010.Two soybean export agreements alone between Dandong Port Group and Perdue Agribusiness have led to several hundred million dollars worth of Virginia soybeans being exported from Chesapeake to a single port in China. Since Governor McDonnell took office in January 2010, China has moved from third to top place among Virginia's agricultural export customers.
Among those accompanying the governor on the mission are Secretary of Commerce and Trade Jim Cheng, Secretary of Technology Jim Duffey (California only), Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore, Chief of Staff Martin Kent (California only) and senior officials from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Virginia Tourism Corporation, Virginia Port Authority and Virginia International Terminals, and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Speaking about the mission, Governor McDonnell remarked, "In a competitive global economy it is essential to meet with businesses across the United States and around the world to tell them why they should invest in Virginia. That is what we are doing on this mission. First, we will have the unique opportunity to partner with Utah and get in front of California-based companies looking to expand their national footprint. Following that domestic stop, we will travel to China and Japan to further strengthen many existing relationships with Asian companies that are already in Virginia, as well as begin new partnerships. In this market, it is mandatory that we continue to expand the presence of international companies in the Commonwealth, as well as explore new export opportunities. That is how we will continue to create good jobs for the citizens of Virginia. Our past economic development and job creation missions have yielded tremendous results, and I look forward to continued job-creation progress as a result of this new mission to California and Asia."
While on the job creation and economic development marketing mission to California and Asia, the governor and Virginia officials will promote Virginia's agricultural and tourism industries, and meet with business leaders in Los Angeles, San Francisco, China and Japan. During the mission, the governor will hold two media conference calls. Detail about these conference calls will be issued at a later date.
Governor Bob McDonnell's 2013 California and Asia Job Creation and Economic Development Marketing Mission Agenda
April 10-12 (Los Angeles, San Francisco)
Host reception to promote Virginia film and tourism
Host luncheon and receptions with Utah Governor Gary Herbert - Forbes Magazine's Top Two States for Business
Meet with film executives and business leaders to promote Virginia
April 14 -22 (Beijing, Dandong, Ningbo and Shanghai, China)
Participate in U.S. Governor's Forum with Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, Guam Governor Eddie Calvo and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in Beijing and Tianjin
Host Luncheon with the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and officials with the Palace Museum, National Museum of China and Poly Museum
Host dinner to promote Virginia tourism and wine in Beijing
Meet with Port of Dandong officials to discuss expanded trade
Meet with business and trade executives in Beijing, Dandong, Ningbo and Shanghai
Attend Auto Shanghai 2013
Participate in Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Shanghai Office Opening
Host reception in Shanghai to promote Virginia tourism and wine
April 23-25 (Tokyo, Japan)
Host roundtable meeting on doing business in Virginia with consultants in Tokyo
Meetings with business, trade and manufacturing executives
Events to promote Virginia agriculture products
Receptions to promote Virginia tourism and film
Meeting with U.S. Ambassador John V. Roos
Meeting with the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)