Virginia opens agricultural trade office in Southeast Asia
Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced the opening of a Virginia Agricultural Trade Office in Singapore.
The office of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is charged with promoting Virginia agricultural and forestry products throughout Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
Sarath Menon, managing director of the business-consulting firm Orissa International, will head the new office.
“As we work to build the new Virginia economy and open new markets for our agribusinesses and wood products companies, it is essential that we continue to strengthen our presence in growing areas like Southeast Asia,” Gov. Terry McAuliffe said in a statement. The governor made the announcement during a 10-day trade and marketing mission to Japan, Korea, Singapore and Australia.
Virginia companies will have the opportunity to work directly with the Southeast Asia representatives to obtain market research on specific sales opportunities in the region, as well as import regulations and tariffs, and to identify potential buyers and distributors.
VDACS's Office of International Marketing will also work with the Southeast Asia office to identify export opportunities for Virginia producers. Additionally, the representative will support events such as reverse trade missions and bringing agriculture and forestry product buyers to Virginia to meet in person with Virginia exporters.
In 2015 Virginia exported more than $238 million in agriculture and forestry products to Southeast Asia. Virginia's top agriculture and forestry exports to Southeast Asia are soybeans and soybean meal, lumber and logs, animal feed and poultry.
VDACS now has international trade offices in Canada, China, Europe, India, Latin America, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, in addition to a full-time employee in Hong Kong.