This April, Governor McDonnell led an economic development marketing mission to California and Asia along with members of his cabinet, VEDP, Virginia Tourism Corp., Virginia Port Authority and Virginia International Terminals, and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
The 16-day mission included meetings with companies in California looking to expand on the East Coast, as well as meetings with companies in China and Japan to discuss potential investment in the Commonwealth and trade opportunities with Virginia companies.
The trip has already yielded positive news, including announcements for two Virginia companies—Hamilton Beach Brands, Inc. and JTI Leaf Services.
Hamilton Beach will soon be expanding sales of its household electric appliances in China. On April 22, Governor McDonnell attended the signing of a contract between Chinese distributor Yingli and Yihaodian, the fastest-growing integrated ecommerce company, to sell Hamilton Beach products in China.
Hamilton Beach is a current participant in VEDP’s award-winning Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) program. The program helps established Virginia companies increase international sales.
On April 23, JTI Leaf Services announced a $7.5 million investment to upgrade equipment at its facility in Danville, Va. Governor McDonnell met with officials from parent company Japan Tobacco while in Tokyo. Southern Virginia was selected for its rich history in tobacco production which includes an experienced workforce to support the industry.
Governor-led marketing missions provide a unique opportunity to promote Virginia’s pro-business story on the international stage, and the Governor’s presence can open doors at the highest levels to build relationships that win business for the Commonwealth.
To learn more about Virginia’s business strengths and why the Commonwealth remains the location of choice for growing global companies, click here.
Governor McDonnell (center) attends the signing of a contract between Yingli and Yihaodian. Company officials (left to right) include: David Garibay, Legal Representative and General Manager, VP China Operations, Hamilton Beach Brands; Yuling Mao, General Manager of Yingli Electronics Technology Co., Ltd., Hamilton Beach Distributor in China; Junling Liu, CEO of Yihaodian; Wilber Wei, Vice President, Consumer Electronics Department of Yihaodian; and Dr. Gang Yu, Chairman of Yihaodian.