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Governor McDonnell Leads Economic Development and Job Creation Mission to Europe

Press Release

Location: Richmond, VA

Governor 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.

Speaking about the mission, Governor McDonnell remarked, "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. 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. Next week, we will travel to Germany, Switzerland, Great Britain and Sweden to build on many existing relationships with European companies who already have a presence in Virginia, as well as begin new relationships within rapidly growing industries worldwide, such as advanced manufacturing and health care. Europe is an important corporate and trade partner with Virginia, and it is essential that we continue to expand the presence of European companies in Virginia as well as look for new export opportunities to this region. I look forward to sharing Virginia's success story as the top state to do business and bring back even more economic successes from this trade mission."

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, Governor 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. 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 2012 Europe Job Creation and Economic Development Marketing Mission Agenda

June 12 - June 13 (Wolfsburg and Gutersloh, Germany)

Meet with senior leadership from prospective automotive and advance manufacturing companies
Address Volkswagen Industry Forum and meet with board members & executives of German auto suppliers
June 14 - June 15 (Zurich, Switzerland)

Meet with senior leadership from prospective pharmaceutical and advance manufacturing companies
Reception and dinner with U.S. Ambassador Donald S. Beyer, Jr. and senior executives from Swiss companies
June 15 - June 16 (London, Great Britain)

Attend Richmond Ballet international debut at London's Royal Opera House -
Interview with The Travel Channel to promote Virginia tourism
Meet with agricultural and food product importers
Virginia wine tasting event with internationally renowned wine critic Oz Clarke
Reception to promote business, tourism to Virginia and Virginia wines
June 17 - June 19 (Stockholm, Sweden)

Meet with U.S. Ambassador Mark Francis Brzezinski
Meet with senior leadership from prospective automotive, aquaculture, construction, banking, biotechnology and advance manufacturing companies
Meet with agricultural and forest product importers
Luncheon with Swedish Security & Defense Industry
Reception with the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce
Luncheon with Lars Backstrom, Governor of Sweden's Vastra Gotaland province, and senior leadership from companies in and around Gothenburg
Reception to promote business, tourism to Virginia and Virginia wines

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