May 23, 2005

Christie Collins
(804) 371-4074
-Study benchmarks the economic impact of international imports within Virginia-

RICHMOND - The Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s (VEDP) Division of International Trade has quantified the economic impact of international imports to Virginia in a first of its kind benchmark study.

In 2003, Virginia’s two-way international trade flows, including state-originated export trade and state-terminated import trade, amounted to $39.6 billion. International imports landed in Virginia amounted to $24.9 billion, with pass-through imports representing the largest category, valued at $18.7 billion. International imports that remained in Virginia for final production and/or consumption amounted to $6.2 billion.

“Often lost in the national debate about the trade balance are the benefits of import trade in states with major air and seaports,” said Robert Chase, principal of Chase Economics and author of the study. “Virginia represents an outstanding example in which international import trade has become a significant source of economic vitality. Virginia’s economic landscape of distribution warehouses, transportation infrastructure and domestic shipping services testifies to the growing impact of international imports.”

The research reports that 8,940 jobs exist in Virginia by virtue of pass-through international imports: cargoes that are landed here and shipped to final users elsewhere in the United States. These jobs are concentrated in import handling—largely, transportation services. Another 80,100 jobs are created by imports that stay in Virginia to be used as inputs to production or as consumer goods for final sale here. Most of the jobs supported by imports to the state are in the wholesale and retail trade sectors.

When combined with the 6 percent share of jobs that are export-related, the entire international trade-related employment base of Virginia is about 8 percent of the state’s total—nearly one in every twelve jobs in the state.

VEDP’s Division of International Trade provides services to promote the sale of Virginia’s products and services in foreign markets. VEDP also conducts the highly sought-after Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) Program and the Global Market Research Program. For more information about the VEDP’s Division of International Trade please visit
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership is a state authority, currently 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 recruitment and international trade. VEDP’s Division of International Trade has offices in Virginia, Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico, Brazil, Korea and Japan.

An executive summary of the study titled “Virginia and International Trade: Economic Impact of International Imports” may be viewed at For questions concerning the full study, please contact Butch Sarma, Manager, Global Market Research Program, at (804) 371-8195 or email at


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