FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 10, 2006



Christie Collins
VEDP
(804) 545-5805
FIVE MORE VIRGINIA COMPANIES ACCEPTED INTO AIM PROGRAM
-Accessing International Markets program provides resources to support international business-


RICHMOND - The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) recently announced the acceptance of five additional Virginia companies into the March 2006 class of the Accessing International Markets (AIM) export development program. The one year program, launched in December 2005, helps Virginia companies pursue international leads in a new market overseas and realize the benefits of exporting.

The five companies accepted into the March 2006 AIM class include Bontex Inc. in Buena Vista, Rubatex International in Bedford, Koger Air in Martinsville, EMI Recycling in Stuart, and Turman Lumber in Hillsville. Markets to be pursued by current AIM participants include countries in North and South America, Europe and Asia. Based on a competitive quarterly application process, 20 companies will be accepted into the AIM program each year.

“International sales offer significant opportunities for Virginia companies,” said Paul Grossman, VEDP Director of International Trade. “Companies are ready and eager to participate in today’s global economy and AIM will help them to do just that. In addition to valuable capital funding, research and counseling, AIM gives participants the opportunity to leverage private-sector professional service providers and VEDP-developed relationships around the world.”

“The AIM Program jump-starts the development of international business by connecting companies with the practical tools needed for successful export sales,” said Elizabeth Morgan, AIM Program Manager. “AIM capital, public and private sector resources will be used to develop and implement a Market Access Plan (MAP) that will help companies systematically sell overseas. The AIM “MAP” approach can be replicated in other markets once participants graduate from the one year AIM Program. VEDP looks forward to supporting the AIM participants as they implement their international business strategies.”

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 21-member Board of Directors appointed by the Governor and the Virginia General Assembly. To accomplish its objectives of promoting economic expansion within the Commonwealth, the Partnership focuses its efforts on business recruitment, expansion and international trade. VEDP has offices in Virginia, Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico, Brazil and Japan. To learn more about the AIM program, contact the AIM Program Manager, at (804) 545 -5768 or visit www.ExportVirginia.org.

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