Governor McDonnell heads out West this week … before flying to the Far East on a trade mission to China and Japan.
A team of state economic development officials and cabinet secretaries will travel with the Governor on a 16-day job creation and marketing mission that begins in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
McDonnell says he and Utah Governor Gary Herbert will co-market their states to California companies.
“Utah and Virginia are the two most business-friendly states in the country, according to Forbes magazine. And so I asked Governor Herbert if it wouldn’t be good to team up and be able to tell people in California if they’re looking to expand or looking for an East Coast base, or they want to be closer to Washington, D.C., that there’s no better place to be than Virginia. And, of course, he’s got other strategic advantages," he said.
McDonnell will also meet with film producers. In China, he’ll focus on agriculture, wine, tourism, and film. He will participate in a U.S. Governors’ forum, meet with business executives, and open a Shanghai trade office.
“China’s got amazing opportunities. I went there before. China’s gone now from, I think, fourth or fifth, to now our number one agricultural trading partner just in the last couple of years. And it’s because of soybeans. It’s because of the shipments that came out of the last trip that we’d taken.”
He calls soybeans “live gold.” The Governor’s team will also discuss exports and foreign investments in Virginia while they’re in China and Japan, where the state has existing relationships with companies. He says the long trip will likely be his final major trade mission to “sell Virginia.”