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McDonnell hopes to announce deals from Israel trade mission within two months

Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) said he hopes to make some announcements in the next two months about Israeli companies that will be expanding business in Virginia.

McDonnell (R) spoke to reporters Monday from Israel, where he has spent the past four days, talking to companies about moving to Virginia as well as businesses that already have offices here.

Specifically, McDonnell said he met with major shipping, drug, food and technology companies as well as the Manufacturers Association of Israel, which represents more than 2,000 companies there.

He also went to Jerusalem and met with Israeli President Shimon Peres. He will head to India next.

“These international trade missions, while they are both time-consuming and labor-intensive for our staff — and expensive — we think they generate immense goodwill between Virginia and these other countries,” McDonnell said. “But more importantly, a tremendous economic development. If just one of these major companies that we met with today chooses to come to Virginia or expand in Virginia the return in terms of taxpayer dollars will be met.”

This is McDonnell’s second trip to Israel. As Virginia attorney general, he went with other attorneys general in 2007.

Traveling with him are: his wife, Maureen, Secretary of Commerce and Trade Jim Cheng, Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore, Secretary of Technology Jim Duffey (India only) and senior officials from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Virginia Tourism Corp. and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

The cost of the trip is $310,804, according to the governor’s office.

McDonnell went on his first trade mission to Europe — an eight-day visit to Britain, the Netherlands and Germany — in July 2010. The trip was built around the Farnborough International Air Show taking place outside London.

In May, he traveled to Japan, China and Korea for 10 days as part of his second overseas trade mission. In June, he flew to the City of Light for a two days at the Paris Airshow, an international trade fair for the aerospace business held every other year.

Follow me on Twitter: @anitakumar01

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