Gov. Bob McDonnell elevated Virginia’s economic development presence in China — the world’s second-largest economy — with the opening Wednesday of a new marketing office in Shanghai. “We must tap into the Chinese market if we want to be successful in today’s global economy. Success in China will mean good jobs for Virginians,” McDonnell said.
“Unfortunately Virginia has failed to properly devote resources in recent years to market to China, putting us behind other states in competing for investment opportunities,” the governor added. “That is no longer the case. I applaud the Virginia legislature’s decision to invest in the commonwealth’s efforts to expand its international reach.”
McDonnell is in Asia for a two-week job creation and marketing mission to Japan, China and Korea. Hailey Fong, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP)’s director of international investment, China, will be based in the Shanghai office as of June. Fong has worked for VEDP for 10 years in a Hong Kong trade office that the state is closing.
Also working out of the Shanghai office is a new hire. VEDP has expanded its staff in China with the hiring of Joyce Hua as director of trade development, China. She has 10 years of experience working in foreign trade, marketing and project management. According to the governor’s office, she also is familiar with multi-culture environments, especially with Sino-American relationship and culture exchange.
The state’s economic development agency has conducted multiple trade missions with Virginia companies to China. Eight current companies in the Virginia Leaders in Export Trade program are actively pursuing the Chinese market. The new office will give Chinese companies the opportunity to work directly with Virginia as they establish a global strategy, and Virginia companies will have a more direct outlet to work with Chinese companies.
According to the state, China is Virginia’s second-largest export destination. Virginia exports to China grew 8 percent in 2010 to reach a value of $1.2 billion. The top 2010 exports from Virginia to China were integrated circuits, plastics, synthetic fibers, industrial machinery, and aluminum, mainly waste and scrap. In 2000, when China was Virginia’s 14th top export destination, exports to China were valued at $197 million.