RICHMOND, Va. (WSET) — On Tuesday, Governor Glenn Youngkin announced the opening of a Virginia-Taiwan Trade Office, Virginia’s first office for economic development in Taiwan.
Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick joined Liang-yu Wang, Director General, Department of North American Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and officials from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) for the opening ceremony in Taipei City earlier this morning, according to the Office of the Governor.
The Virginia-Taiwan Trade Office was established in response to the Governor’s Executive Order 25 to strengthen the business relationship between Virginia and Taiwan, including mutual trade and investment initiatives. The new trade office will be Virginia's fourth international office, in addition to VEDP offices in Germany, Japan, and South Korea, the Office of the Governor said.
“Taiwan represents a significant market for foreign direct investment and international trade and the new Virginia-Taiwan Trade Office will strategically position the Commonwealth for economic development opportunities,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “We look forward to strengthening our partnership with Taiwan as we actively work to recruit Taiwanese companies and encourage trade with Virginia businesses.”
According to the Office of Governor, Governor Youngkin announced plans for the Virginia-Taiwan Trade Office at a meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen during his first international trade mission to Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea in April and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Ministry of Economic Affairs of Taiwan and the Commonwealth of Virginia on economic and trade cooperation. The MOU acknowledges Taiwan’s importance to Virginia as an investment partner, Virginia and Taiwan’s sound bilateral economic and trade relationship, and important agricultural partnership. The MOU also commits to further collaboration in research, innovation, and critical global industries such as consumer electronics.
“It is an honor to be part of the opening of the first Virginia office for economic development in Taiwan, and we are ready to get to work and deepen the Commonwealth’s economic and international trade ties with Taiwanese businesses,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick. “Taiwan and Virginia share a commitment to innovation, collaboration, and leadership, and the new office will showcase the Commonwealth’s advantages to prospective investors and businesses and expand markets for Virginia products.”
“International trade and foreign direct investment have a major economic impact on every region of the Commonwealth, and the Virginia-Taiwan Trade Office will position the Commonwealth to be even more competitive in a global economy,” said Jason El Koubi, VEDP President and CEO. “VEDP looks forward to working with Taiwanese businesses and stakeholders to promote Virginia as a prime business location and trade partner.”
The Office of the Governor said as the fourth fastest-growing source of foreign direct investment in the United States, Taiwanese-owned Virginia companies strengthen the Commonwealth’s economy. The United States is Taiwan's second-largest trading partner and Virginia is a meaningful driver of the national partnership with Virginia’s annual exporting significantly outpacing that of the broader nation. Virginia exported $730 million in products to Taiwan in 2022 and imported $1 billion in goods from Taiwan.
The Virginia-Taiwan Trade Office will offer services to assist Taiwanese companies with opportunities in Virginia, bring investment and new jobs to the Commonwealth, and further open markets for Virginia products such as critical computer and electronic products, machinery, and agricultural exports like soybeans, textiles, and more, according to the Office of the Governor.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership 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, the Partnership focuses its efforts on business recruitment, expansion, and international trade development, according to the Office of the Governor.