April 14, 2005

Ellen Qualls

Christie Collins
(804) 371-4074
-India mission will be the first for a Virginia governor-

RICHMOND - Governor Mark R. Warner will lead two back-to-back international trade missions, departing Virginia on Saturday. The first, to Japan, is a series of confidential recruitment meetings. Then, on April 24th, the Governor kicks off a six-day trade mission to India.

The Governor will be accompanied in India by leaders of Virginia companies, Secretary of Commerce and Trade Michael J. Schewel, and representatives from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. The delegation will visit New Delhi, Bangalore, and Mumbai (Bombay).

The trip will be Governor Warner’s fourth international trade mission. The Governor has previously conducted missions to Europe, Mexico and China. Meetings are currently being confirmed with key Indian business executives and government leaders who could be potential business partners or clients for Virginia companies.

“We will take advantage of the enormous opportunities to export goods and services to India by opening doors for Virginia companies,” said Governor Warner. “The changing global economy is creating opportunities we cannot afford to ignore -- to penetrate new markets, sell our products, and thereby create new jobs at home.”

“Governor Warner’s powerful sales skills and extensive business background have proven effective in previous international trade missions,” said Secretary Schewel. “We believe this mission will again deliver positive results for a wide variety of Virginia’s businesses from all regions of the Commonwealth.”

India has the world’s fourth largest economy and the world’s largest democracy with more than a billion people. The United States is India’s top trading partner with total two-way trade valued at $14 billion. In Virginia, exports to India are rising dramatically. From January 2004 to November 2004, Virginia exports to India increased 135% over the same period in 2003. Total Virginia exports to India in 2003 were valued at nearly $45 million.

Some of the best prospects for exports to India include telecommunications equipment; education services, computers and peripherals; electric power and pollution control equipment; mining industry equipment; medical equipment; and instrumentation.

Fairfax County opened an international trade office in Bangalore, India last summer, identifying the country as a market that shared similar high tech industries, and with the specific goal of “in-sourcing” jobs to Virginia, if and when technology-based companies in India expand to U.S. markets. There are currently 10 Indian companies doing business in Fairfax County.

In the Japanese leg of the trade mission, Governor Warner will meet with Japanese companies that have existing Virginia operations, as well as new business leads, and customers of the Port of Virginia. Destinations include Osaka, Nagoya, Hamamatsu, and Tokyo. Governor Warner will be the first U.S. governor to visit the U.S. Pavilion at Expo 2005, the first world’s fair of the 21st century in Aichi, Japan. Japan is the third largest export destination for Virginia products. The Commonwealth exported $0.91 billion in products to Japan in 2003, down nearly 31% from the 2002 figure of about $1.32 billion. Tobacco and plastics were the top exports both years.

For more information, please contact the Virginia Economic Development Partnership at (804) 371-0333.


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