RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Gov. Bob McDonnell and other Virginia officials are embarking on a job creation and economic development mission to Asia.
McDonnell's office says the delegation began the 11-day trip on Friday. The group will meet with business leaders in Japan, China, and South Korea.
The trip is being touted as an opportunity for Virginia to strengthen its relationship with companies that already have a Virginia presence and to share its story with prospective investors and importers.
"There is a global competition underway to attract the job creating private sector businesses that will power and define the 21st century economy," McDonnell said in a news release.
The delegation also will speak with businesses in an effort to increase Virginia's agricultural and forestry product exports. China ranks second on Virginia's list of export markets, while Japan ranks eleventh, and South Korea ranks in the top 30.
McDonnell is being joined by Secretary of Commerce and Trade Jim Cheng, Secretary of Agriculture Todd Haymore, and senior officials from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Virginia Tourism Corporation, and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. McDonnell's wife also will be on part of the trip to promote tourism and Virginia's wine industry.
McDonnell led a similar trip to Europe last summer. That trip helped produce numerous opportunities for Virginia, including an economic development deal that led to a $28.3 million expansion of O'Sullivan Films in Winchester that will create nearly 175 jobs.