Virginia Governor Planning June European Trade Mission

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said Wednesday his office is planning an economic development trip to England, Germany and Sweden this summer to “tell the Virginia story.”

McDonnell's office said the trip to promote Virginia and its goods and services is tentatively scheduled for mid-June.

The Republican governor is currently leading a four-day trip to New York and Canada, which included a reception to promote Virginia tourism, wine and film with Donald Trump on Tuesday and another reception scheduled for Thursday in Montreal. The governor's office said the trip is expected to cost about $140,500.

The current trip is McDonnell's fifth international trade mission since he took office in January 2010. He previously led trips to Israel, India, Japan, China, South Korea, Germany, England and the Netherlands that have yielded several export agreements and business deals. The trips are aimed at strengthening Virginia's relationship with companies that already have a Virginia presence and to share its story with prospective investors and importers.

“I've been running around the country, and really around the world ... telling our story and asking business to relocate,” McDonnell said Wednesday on MSNBC's “Morning Joe.”

The economic development and marketing missions are seemingly getting results in the form of deals to bring businesses to the state and to export Virginia products overseas.

For example, McDonnell's trip to Europe in the summer of 2010 led to a $28.3 million expansion of O'Sullivan Films operation in Winchester, creating nearly 175 jobs.

And a trade mission to Asia yielded an agreement to ship soybeans to China. The first ship alone delivered $25 million worth of Virginia soybeans.

“From Brunswick to Beijing. That's how we grow our economy in the global marketplace,” McDonnell said in his State of the Commonwealth address to the Legislature in January.

McDonnell also has taken multiple domestic trips to meet with companies and promote Virginia goods and services, and has opened several trade offices overseas to help Virginia work with foreign companies.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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