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McDonnell tries to lure companies to Virginia while in Europe

Anita Kumar

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said Thursday that he has met with companies while in Europe this week that could potentially bring 30 to 300 new jobs to the state with a total capital investment of $30 million to $150 million.

McDonnell (R) said in a conference call with reporters from Germany that he also is meeting with companies that already do business in Virginia, including Rolls Royce, B.I. Chemicals and Siemens in the hopes they may expand their presence in the state.

"We really want to build upon those relationships because they've already shown by the volume of trade that they do with Virginia that there are numerous opportunities ahead,'' he said.

McDonnell's eight-day trip this week to Britain, the Netherlands and Germany will cost Virginia taxpayers almost $90,000. In his first international trade mission since taking office, McDonnell was joined by Secretary of Commerce Jim Cheng, Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore and other state officials as well as his wife, Maureen.

The trip was built around the Farnborough Air Show taking place outside London.

McDonnell met with the CEO of Rolls Royce and the company's major suppliers -- many of which are looking at investments in Virginia because of Rolls Royce's new plant under construction in Prince George County.

"We believe now we can get major international suppliers of Rolls Royce to be able to come and locate in that 700-800 acre industrial park around the Rolls Royce project,'' he said. "I think that's going to be a magnet for aerospace business."

He filmed a segement for the Travel Channel about Virginia tourism and history, which will air next year.

McDonnell said he expects to make additional announcements related to his trip in the next 60 to 90 days. He also plans to take future trade missions to India and China.

By Anita Kumar  |  July 22, 2010; 3:37 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Robert F. McDonnell  
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