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McDonnell calls trade mission a success
BY CHELYEN DAVIS
Gov. Bob McDonnell said a nine-day trade mission to Europe was a success, and that he expects at least two deals to come from it in the coming months.
"Very soon we're going to be able to announce a couple of deals" in agriculture and other business, McDonnell told reporters in a conference call Tuesday.
Those announcements would come in the next month or two, he said.
McDonnell was wrapping up his tour in Sweden. Earlier in the trip he visited Germany, Great Britain and Switzerland.
He said he has heard some concern from business leaders about instability in the U.S. markets, most based on worries about the federal government, federal debt and other issues.
McDonnell said he thinks he successfully allayed those concerns, at least with respect to Virginia's business-friendly climate.
Overall, he said, he was pleased at how willing European business leaders were to consider dealings in and with Virginia.
"The Swedish business community is very well dialed-in to the United States," he said. "They are confident that the U.S. market is a place that they need to be."
McDonnell spent his time in Sweden meeting with biotech, manufacturing and other business leaders, including some from Volvo, which already has a plant in Pulaski.
Several CEOs committed to follow-up visits to Virginia, he said, and defense industry leaders expressed interest in "perhaps coming to Northern Virginia and becoming part of the defense supply system" for the government there.
McDonnell said he met with prospects in the fields of wind energy and data processing, and state Secretary of Agriculture Todd Haymore promoted Virginia wines and tourism.
"We believe there may be some opportunities for some of our wineries that are interested in exporting further into Europe," Haymore said. "Sweden is a great growth market."
Chelyen Davis: 540/368-5028