McAuliffe traveling to Europe for trade mission
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.”