FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 03, 2008

Gordon Hickey
www.governor.virginia.gov
(804) 225-4260


Christie Miller
VEDP
(804) 545-5805
GOVERNOR KAINE WELCOMES AUSTRALIAN DELEGATION TO VIRGINIA
-Chief Minister Stanhope, company leaders explore opportunities in Virginia-


RICHMOND - Governor Timothy M. Kaine today announced that Jon Stanhope, Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory, and leaders of eight companies from Canberra, Australia’s capital, will visit Richmond June 5-6 to explore trade opportunities with Virginia companies. Governor Kaine will kick off the delegation’s visit on June 5 with a welcome breakfast at the Capitol.

“We welcome the opportunity to showcase our award-winning business climate and promote trade opportunities with Virginia companies,” said Governor Kaine. “Virginia and Canberra are similar in many ways, which presents myriad opportunities for collaboration, knowledge transfer and innovation for companies exploring international expansion possibilities.”

The delegation is being hosted by the Greater Richmond Partnership (GRP) and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP). The visit is part of a broader mission encompassing the U.S. and Canada.

Australia ranked as Virginia’s 16th largest export destination in 2007, valued at $269 million, an increase of 14 percent over 2006. Virginia’s top three exports to Australia in 2007 were aircraft/spacecraft, pharmaceuticals and machinery.

“As Australia’s national capital, Canberra is a world-class, cosmopolitan city that is rapidly becoming a centre of business innovation and excellence in Australia,” Mr. Stanhope said. “With one of the most concentrated and talented research communities in the Southern Hemisphere, Canberra is now giving rising to quite remarkable small firms that continue to look to international markets to grow their business. It is a pleasure to be here in Virginia to help our companies make some accelerated steps in this direction, and I can think of few better places for most of them to start.”

The Australian delegation will spend the remainder of its visit learning more about the benefits of doing business in the Commonwealth, and will participate in match-making meetings with Virginia companies. Transurban, an Australian company with operations in Alexandria and Richmond, will sponsor a networking reception at the Bull & Bear Club Thursday night, and the delegation’s visit will conclude Friday with a luncheon at the Jefferson Hotel, sponsored by Optical Cable Corporation, a Roanoke-based leader in the fiber optic cable industry.

“We are excited to co-host the public and private delegation from Australia’s Capital Territory and introduce them to one of Forbes.com’s top 10 best places to do business in America – Greater Richmond,” said Gregory H. Wingfield, President and CEO of the Greater Richmond Partnership Inc. “With our rich history of international business, we believe this Australian group will find opportunities to partner and collaborate with like-minded businesses that are also looking to grow and prosper globally.”

“Virginia has benefited from substantial investment from more than a dozen Australian firms across the Commonwealth and we welcome more in the years ahead,” said Paul Grossman, VEDP Director of International Trade. “We are delighted to strengthen our ties to Australia through this visit and we expect that the events we are hosting for Chief Minister Stanhope’s delegation will create more opportunities for the Virginian and Australian business communities for many years to come.”

For media interested in covering any portion of the Australian delegation’s visit, please contact Christie Miller at 804-545-5805 for details.

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