McDonnell hints at future economic development announcements in Va.

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Gov. Bob McDonnell hinted Thursday about a wide array of economic development announcements he expects to make over the next few months.

McDonnell, along with key members of his Cabinet, held a telephone press conference from Tokyo on the last full day of his 17-day, trade trip to California, China and Japan.

In Japan, the administration has held meetings with many companies that already do business in Virginia. One company, which he did not name, is considering a multimillion-dollar investment in its Virginia operations.

“I met with their president and CEO today, and hopefully this year we’ll have an announcement about major jobs in Virginia,” McDonnell said.

He also said he hopes to have announcements regarding Canon, which has had operations in Newport News for 28 years.

The Virginia delegation also worked on creating more export opportunities for Virginia’s agricultural products. New opportunities include soybean and soybean exports through the Chinese Port of Ningbo.

“We believe we’re on the cusp of entering that market through soybean and soybean oil,” Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore said.

In addition, the delegation continued to push Virginia’s wine industry, announcing this week that Chateau Morrisette would export wine to China under a five-year agreement. “We believe we’ll have another announcement from a winery soon,” Haymore said. “We’ve been spreading the word about how outstanding our wines are.”

Haymore said he also expects to have announcements coming soon about new agricultural exports to Japan. He mentioned he had met with seafood and craft beer importers.

Rita McClenny, president and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corp., said the delegation made the case for filming a television movie in Virginia. She said she hopes to have an announcement in May.

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