CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is planning a 13-day trip to Europe to meet with companies doing business in the Mountain State or considering West Virginia as an option.
In this investment mission, which starts Oct. 10, Tomblin will visit companies in Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland and Italy.
Although Tomblin did not release a list of companies he will visit, he said industries include Marcellus Shale natural gas, automotive and aerospace sectors. Tomblin also will visit a polymer-related tradeshow on his trip.
The reason for visiting Europe, Tomblin said, is because last year, one-third of the state's $11.3 billion exports went to Europe. Tomblin also said more than 80 European companies, employing more than 10,000 residents, have invested in West Virginia.
All of these countries, except Switzerland, also ranked in West Virginia's top 25 export markets, according to a handout of the state's top export markets.
This is Tomblin's second international mission. Last June, he visited Japan.
"Our mission to Japan was tremendously successful, with five companies announcing expansions upon our return. I'm hopeful this mission proves to be just as fruitful," Tomblin said.West Virginia Department of Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette said there will be a small group consisting of a few staff members from the governor's office, security members and staff from the development office compose the core group, which will stop in every country on the list.