May 10, 2002

Jill Lawrence
(804) 371-0049
Virginia Is First State Since September 11th To Call On Saudi Arabia For Trade Relations
-Virginia companies generate sales with Saudi Arabia through state’s aggressive efforts-

RICHMOND - The Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s (VEDP) Division of International Trade recently brought home praise and successful results from its recent visit to Saudi Arabia. Receiving the Virginia delegation, U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Robert W. Jordan praised the Commonwealth as the first U.S. delegation to call on Saudi Arabian companies for international trade since September’s terrorist attacks.

VEDP’s Division of International Trade has visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia annually for the past four years. Cumulatively, 24 Virginia companies have participated in these trade missions to obtain sales and commercial representation in Saudi Arabia.

“The successes from the Saudi Arabia visits illustrate the importance of Virginia’s aggressive and innovative international trade efforts,” said Mark R. Kilduff, Executive Director of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. “Through international trade, the Commonwealth and its companies continue to see increased sales and continued business growth.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s Division of International Trade plans more than 20 international trade missions annually to promote Virginia products and services in foreign markets. VEDP also hosts groups of foreign companies seeking to buy Virginia products. In 2001, Virginia’s international exports totaled $16.4 billion.

One of the Virginia companies that accompanied VEDP during the 2001 trade mission to Saudi Arabia, Virginia Transformer Corp. of Roanoke, has reached over $500,000 in sales since the visit. It has also signed agent agreements with two Saudi companies for the continued sale of their transformers into Saudi Arabia. “Our company has benefited measurably as a result of my trip to Saudi Arabia along with VEDP, and I personally look forward to joining VEDP again in their next trip to Saudi Arabia,” said Mr. Alok Mandal of Virginia Transformer Corp.

According to the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the U.S. is Saudi Arabia’s leading trade and investment partner. Saudi Arabia falls in the top 10 destinations for Virginia exports, totaling over $330 million in 2001. Top exports to Saudi Arabia include tobacco, industrial machinery and electronic components.

VEDP is hosted and assisted by the U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council in arrangements and business matchmaking for the trade missions. “VEDP has been an invaluable partner for us in telling Virginia companies about the abundant opportunities available in Saudi Arabia, and helping them capitalize on those opportunities to increase their business in the Kingdom,” said Medlej Al-Medlej, Executive Director of the Council.

The following Virginia companies participated in the recent Saudi Arabia trip:

Company Location
G3 Systems Blacksburg
Advanced Financial Group Great Falls
BioStar McLean
Innovative Solutions Intl. Vienna
Northrup Grumman Poly-Scientific Blacksburg
Spectra Quest Richmond

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, a marketing organization, was created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1995 to encourage, stimulate, and support the development and expansion of the economy of the Commonwealth. The Partnership is a state authority, which is governed by a 15-member Board of Directors appointed by the Governor. To accomplish its objectives of promoting economic expansion within the Commonwealth, the Partnership focuses its efforts on business development and international trade.

For more information on Virginia’s international trade programs, please contact Paul H. Grossman, Jr. at 804-371-0198.

Photo available upon request.


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