FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 31, 2007

Kevin Hall
www.governor.virginia.gov


Christie Miller
VEDP
(804) 545-5805
GOVERNOR KAINE LAUNCHES ALLIANCE TO ADVANCE VIRGINIA’S INTERNATIONAL POSITION
-Virginia companies encouraged to join partnership-


RICHMOND - Governor Timothy M. Kaine today launched the Virginia International Trade Alliance (VITAL), a coalition comprised of companies across the Commonwealth dedicated to the advancement of international trade and investment. Governor Kaine announced the creation of VITAL during a meeting of its founding participants this morning at the SunTrust Building in Richmond. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) and the Virginia Port Authority (VPA) will support VITAL’s efforts by providing structure and staff assistance.

VITAL was created in response to Governor Kaine’s economic development strategic plan, rolled out in September 2006. That plan calls for a coordinated effort in international marketing to increase Virginia’s exports by seven percent by 2010, and increase foreign direct investment in the Commonwealth to 3,000 jobs and $300 million per year.

“This initiative partners the Commonwealth with the private sector to advance Virginia’s international position,” said Governor Kaine. “New worlds of commerce and economic opportunity demand our innovation and energy. I expect VITAL to tap into Virginia’s international assets and catapult our standing on the world trade stage.”

VITAL participants will serve as a central point for the development of a coordinated international marketing strategy, and will form task forces focused on key areas such as branding Virginia, emerging markets, foreign-owned companies, global logistics, mergers and acquisitions, policy, sales offices, service exports, and building stronger relations with the emerging markets of China and India.

Virginia companies engaged in or servicing international trade or investment are encouraged to join VITAL. Participants must be willing to share their insights, opinions and ideas, commit time toward the development and implementation of a work plan by June 30, 2008, and provide an annual contribution of $1,607 per person to help fund VITAL activities.

“VITAL will bring together the best minds to offer realistic and attainable solutions to Virginia’s collective international economic opportunities and challenges,” said Paul Grossman, Director of International Trade and Investment for VEDP. “This is an excellent opportunity for Virginia businesses engaged in international business to dialogue with other companies engaged in similar activities.”

"By utilizing the existing staff and expertise of VEDP and the VPA, and combining it with experts from the private sector who desire to see Virginia take advantage of its geographic location and world class port/airport assets, I am confident VITAL will produce a new vision for the Commonwealth to embrace the opportunities being generated by a global marketplace," said Tom Capozzi, VPA Senior Managing Director of Marketing Services.

For more information or to submit your taskforce application, visit www.vitalforva.org or call (804) 545-5752.

VIRGINIA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP

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