McAuliffe trav­el­ing to Europe for trade mission

The Washington Post Sunday - - LOCAL OPINIONS - BY LAURA VOZZELLA laura.vozzella@wash­

rich­mond — Gov. Terry McAuliffe will travel over­seas Mon­day, look­ing for ways to boost and di­ver­sify Vir­ginia’s de­fense-heavy econ­omy on a whirl­wind 11-day trade mission to six Euro­pean coun­tries.

McAuliffe (D) and mem­bers of his team will meet with busi­ness and gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials in the United King­dom, Italy, Ger­many, Swe­den, France and Bel­gium.

The Paris Air Show is ex­pected to be the high­light of the trip, his of­fice said, pro­vid­ing McAuliffe and his del­e­ga­tion the op­por­tu­nity tomeet with aerospace in­dus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives from around the world. The group also will put on two Vir­ginia-hosted re­cep­tions for 300 peo­ple — one in Lon­don and the other in Paris — that will show­case the state’s tourism, agri­cul­ture and culi­nary as­sets.

McAuliffe has made eco­nomic devel­op­ment the cen­ter­piece of his ad­min­is­tra­tion, as fed­eral spend­ing cuts known as se­ques­tra­tion have taken a toll on the com­mon­wealth’s econ­omy. He has looked to for­eign trade and in­vest­ment as one means of com­pen­sat­ing for that con­trac­tion.

He will be ac­com­pa­nied by first lady Dorothy McAuliffe, Sec­re­tary of Com­merce and Trade Mau­rice Jones, Sec­re­tary of Agri­cul­ture and Forestry Todd Hay­more and of­fi­cials from the Vir­ginia Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Part­ner­ship, Vir­ginia Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture and Con­sumer Ser­vices and Vir­ginia Tourism Cor­po­ra­tion. They are sched­uled to have more than 70 eco­nomic devel­op­ment meet­ings.

“Mar­ket­ing mis­sions are an es­sen­tial part of build­ing a new Vir­ginia econ­omy,” McAuliffe said in a writ­ten state­ment. “Meet­ing job cre­ators and eco­nomic de­ci­sion­mak­ers from around the globe and telling them the Vir­ginia story in per­son is crit­i­cal to bring­ing new jobs and eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity to our Com­mon­wealth. My team and I will workhard over the 11 days we are in Europe and I fully ex­pect that we will close mul­ti­ple sig­nif­i­cant deals as a re­sult of this im­por­tant trip.”

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