SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – Governor Terry McAuliffe today expanded Virginia’s international presence with the announcement of the Commonwealth’s new marketing office in Seoul, South Korea. The Governor announced the opening of the new office during a press conference at the Grand Hyatt Seoul. Governor McAuliffe is currently on a 10-day marketing mission to Japan, Korea, Singapore and Australia. The new Seoul office and marketing staff expansion in Korea will further strengthen the partnership between Korea and Virginia.
Julie Kim, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s (VEDP) Director, Korea, is based in the new office in Seoul. Kim worked for VEDP from 2000-2006, promoting trade and investment in Korea. Prior to returning to VEDP, Kim was the sales and marketing director at World Green AM Corp.
“South Korea’s economy has experienced tremendous growth over the past four decades, representing the fifth fastest-growing source of foreign direct investment in the U.S. in 2015,” said Governor McAuliffe speaking at the announcement. “Strengthening our partnership with Korea is essential to Virginia’s success in the global economy, and I am delighted the General Assembly has chosen to invest in the Commonwealth’s efforts to grow our international footprint. Virginia has made great strides in its relationship with Korea in the past year, and I look forward to seeing more Korean dollars invested into the Commonwealth and more Virginia jobs created.”
“From 2011 to 2015, South Korean companies invested more than $90 million to establish and expand businesses in Virginia, making Korea a vitally important international market for the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore. “VEDP’s new office and Virginia representative will be strategically positioned to capitalize on the economic opportunities that South Korea represents, continuing the Governor’s call to build a new Virginia economy.”
With the establishment of this office, Korean companies will have the opportunity to work directly with Virginia as they establish their “Go Global” strategy. According to SelectUSA, 45,100 U.S. workers were employed by U.S. affiliates of Korean-owned firms in 2014.
Over the past 40 years, South Korea has generated incredible economic growth and global integration to become a high-tech, industrialized economy. South Korea is Virginia’s 11th largest export destination, with exports to Korea growing 13 percent between 2014 and 2015 to reach a value of $485 million. In 2015, top exports from Virginia to Korea included electrical machinery, meat, organic chemicals and essential oils. The top six industry sectors by number of announced Korean foreign direct investment (FDI) projects in the U.S. are auto components, industrial machinery, software & IT services, metals, communications and electronics.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, a marketing organization, was created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1995 to encourage, stimulate, and support the development and expansion of the economy of the Commonwealth. To accomplish its objectives of promoting economic expansion within the Commonwealth, VEDP focuses its efforts on business recruitment, expansion and international trade. VEDP has offices in Virginia, China, Germany, Japan, India, South Korea and the United Kingdom focused on promoting FDI into the Commonwealth.
Governor Terry McAuliffe today expanded Virginia’s international presence with the announcement of the Commonwealth’s new marketing office in Seoul, South Korea.