Virginia opens agricultural office in Shanghai

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Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Tuesday that the commonwealth has officially opened an agricultural trade office in Shanghai.

McDonnell, who is currently on a trade mission in Asia, held a ceremony on Monday in Shanghai with U.S. Consulate officials and Chinese agricultural importers, distributors and processors.

“Fifteen years ago, Virginia's agricultural exports to China were negligible,” McDonnell said in a statement. “Today, business is booming. China purchased almost $640 million in agricultural goods last year from the Commonwealth, more than doubling the amount from 2011.”

The move is part of the McDonnell administration’s goal to open new export markets to Virginia’s agricultural products. On Monday, he announced that Floyd County winery Chateau Morrisette had signed a five-year trade agreement to ship wine to China.

Virginia is the only state with a dedicated agricultural trade office in Shanghai. North Carolina, the only other state with such an office in mainland, has one in Beijing.

Annie Kang has been hired to represent Virginia’s agricultural and forestry interests in mainland China. (Virginia has had an office in Hong Kong for more than 20 years).

Kang is the founder and president of Shanghai Rui Nian Investment Management Company, a Shanghai-based firm.

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