■ Most meetings with clients and prospects already occur on the road.
■ Having an office when and where you need it would eliminate the impression some prospects might have that the state has a "German" office rather than an office that serves all of Europe.
■ An office provider with many locations and a staff that speaks multiple languages could overcome the difficulty of hiring a person who is qualified to represent the state and speaks many languages.
Asked recently if the state is preparing to issue a request for proposals from providers like Regus, Burdette said the details about exactly what the state needs are still being worked out.
Exports have become increasingly important to West Virginia's economy, setting records each of the last several years. The state's exports totaled $5.9 billion in the first half of 2012, a 31 percent increase compared to the same period a year ago.
The Netherlands, Italy and Belgium are among the state's top trading partners.
Foreign direct investment in West Virginia is significant, too. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration, foreign-controlled companies employed 22,700 West Virginia workers in 2009, the most recent year for which figures are available.
European companies employing West Virginians range from German chemical giant Bayer (Institute, New Martinsville) and French construction materials manufacturer Saint-Gobain/CertainTeed (Moundsville) to Italian auto parts company Allevard Sogefi (Prichard) Norway's energy company Statoil (Northern Panhandle), and Spanish auto parts maker Gestamp (South Charleston).
Reach George Hohmann at busin...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4836.