CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Governor Earl Ray Tomblin will be heading to Europe this month. Starting on Oct. 10, Tomblin will spend 13 days in five European countries as part of an investment mission.
State Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette said it’s an important trip.
“Companies will appreciate the fact that the Governor has shown enough interest to come see them,” said Burdette.
Tomblin will make stops in Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. His stop in France will be a first for a West Virginia governor.
Burdette said Tomblin will hold private meetings with company executives, host two seminars and attend the K Trade Fair in Dusseldorf, which is billed as the largest trade show for plastics and rubber worldwide.
“We have several prospects that the governor will, hopefully, visit with that we like to think are in the final stages of decision making,” said Burdette of the possible investments that could come out of the trip.
Last year, state officials estimated almost a third of West Virginia’s $11.3 billion in exports went to Europe. Over the years, more than 80 European companies have invested in the Mountain State.
Governor Tomblin traveled to Japan in June of last year and Burdette said that trip paid off in a number of ways.
“It was measurable how important they believed it was for the governor to come and visit them, instead of them visiting us, and how much value they placed on that,” said Burdette.
“We think the same thing applies in Europe.”