GOVERNOR KAINE WELCOMES CANADIAN DELEGATION TO HAMPTON ROADS
-Visit to showcase Virginia’s modeling and simulation assets, promote collaboration-
RICHMOND - Governor Timothy M. Kaine today welcomed to Virginia the “Partners in Technology” Trade Mission, a delegation representing more than 20 Canadian modeling and simulation firms from eight provinces across Canada. For the second consecutive year, the delegation will meet with representatives from Virginia’s modeling and simulation industry in Hampton Roads September 15-18 to develop potential partnerships for business development in the Commonwealth.
“We’re thrilled to extend a warm welcome to the Partners in Technology delegation for a second year,” said Governor Kaine. “The number of participating Canadian companies has doubled since last year—a great indicator that Canada recognizes Hampton Roads as one of the fastest growing hubs for modeling and simulation in the United States, and the value of a mutually beneficial relationship.”
The delegation visit was organized by the Embassy of Canada Trade Commissioner’s office in Washington, D.C., with the assistance of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) and the executive planning committee of the MODSIM World 2008 Conference and Expo. The delegation will attend the MODSIM World Conference in Virginia Beach, during which VEDP will present at a workshop designed for the delegation that discusses doing business in Virginia. In addition to the conference, the group will meet and discuss partnership opportunities with Virginia modeling and simulation industry leaders such as Lockheed Martin, BreakAway, PSI International and CAE USA.
Khal Shariff, CEO of Project Whitecard, a Canadian company that specializes in interactive, immersive environments for simulation, training and education, participated in last year’s mission to Virginia and is returning as a member of this year’s delegation.
“This is a great opportunity to experience the American market first-hand and meet companies and institutions with similar goals,” he said. “Our participation last year helped us establish a relationship with a similar Virginia company and opened our eyes to the fact that Americans are very welcoming to our creative ideas and approaches.”
Canada was Virginia’s No. 1 export market in 2007 with exports via Virginia valued at $2.76 billion. Top export sectors remained relatively constant in 2007, with vehicles/not railway in the No. 1 spot at $528 million. The second most highly valued export to Canada via Virginia was industrial machinery, valued at $340.5 million, a 14 percent increase over 2006. Other leading sectors include mineral fuel/oil, electrical machinery, rubber, books and newspaper, miscellaneous chemical products, plastics and paper/paperboard.
Virginia and Canada have had a mutually beneficial relationship—197,000 jobs in Virginia supported by bilateral trade in 2005 and bilateral trade flows totaling $5.2 billion in 2007. Canada purchased $2.4 billion in Virginia products in 2007—more than China and the United Kingdom, the state’s next largest export markets, combined. In fact, Virginia-Canada exchanges surpassed $14.5 million a day on average.