Governor McDonnell is now in India as he wraps up the final leg of a trade trip that began in Israel. He says the discussions there have been very productive and the Governor is lauding the benefits of taking more Virginia products to an emerging nation with more than a billion consumers.
India is a valuable market for Virginia, which exported $293 million in goods to India last year. McDonnell said 52% of all Indian workers are engaged in Agriculture, and since it’s the largest Virginia industry, it was a major focus of trade discussion. The Governor told reporters on a conference call that he’s already met with 60-major business leaders to explain the advantages of foreign investments in Virginia.
“Since then we’ve met with several of the major Indian businesses that already have offices in Virginia and I talked to them about expansion and job creating opportunities in our state,” said Governor McDonnell.
With him is Secretary of Agriculture Todd Haymore, who discussed what agricultural imports piqued the interests of Indian business leaders.
“We’ve also been meeting with apple importers and process food importers. It’s a very, very strong market for imported apples to India and obviously Virginia. Apples are one of our top commodities. Meeting with a number of importers of soybean oils–oils that are coming from crushed soybeans, obviously which we’re producing a great number of in Virginia,” said Haymore.
The Governor said the trade delegation also advanced the state’s wine, tourism, bio-tech, nanotech, and film industries.