Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits Selects Botetourt County, Virginia For East Coast Operations

Building on its recent recruitment of the Deschutes Brewery’s east coast operations, the Roanoke Regional Partnership announced yet another brewery project by a California-based craft brewer. This time, it is Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits that has announced the selection of a site in Botetourt County, VA for establishing its east coast operations.

Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits

Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits (photo – walknboston/flickr)

The company will invest $47.8 million to establish manufacturing and retail operations at 259,040-square-foot Lawrence Companies building located on International Parkway in Botetourt Center at Greenfield.

Ballast Point expects to create 178 direct jobs at this facility, adding to the more than 500 people it already employs at four facilities in the San Diego, CA area. IMPLAN modeling done by the Roanoke Regional Partnership estimates that this project will have an overall annual economic impact of $376,442,866 and spur creation of more than 540 secondary jobs in the region.

San Diego-based Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits was founded by Jack White in 1996, and is now among the top 20 largest craft brewers in the United States, selling beer in more than 30 states. The company was acquired in 2015 by Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ and STZ.B).

Ballast Point founder Jack White said in a statement that “In our quest to provide the best quality, freshest beer to all of our customers, an East Coast brewery started to make a lot of sense to us.”

Botetourt County secured this project through a concerted effort by state, local and regional officials including Botetourt County, the Roanoke Regional Partnership and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.

Beth Doughty, executive director of the Roanoke Regional Partnership, said in a statement that the organization called on the company more than a year ago as part of a campaign to attract craft brewers to the region. “The company was able to move quickly because we matched them with an available building and all the infrastructure,” said Doughty.

Botetourt County Board of Supervisors Chair Jack Leffel highlighted decisions made, such as the move by the county to join the Western Virginia Water Authority, that paved the way for this project. “Without that partnership, we would not have been able to provide the quantity and quality of water demanded by this project,” said Leffel.

Governor Terry McAuliffe approved a $2,400,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Botetourt County with the project. The Governor also met in person with company officials at their headquarters in San Diego during a West Coast marketing mission last year.

“Winning this significant project was a top priority, and we are proud that Botetourt County will be home to the company’s East Coast brewing operation,” said Gov. McAuliffe in a statement announcing the win for Virginia.

The company will also be eligible to receive a $250,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund (AFID). Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

For its part, the county will provide permit fee waivers, along with $1,402,177 in tax incentives and an anticipated $650,000 in performance grants.

Joyce Kessinger, Chair of the Botetourt County Economic Development Authority, noted that “Attracting Ballast Point is a fantastic way of adding employment opportunities in Botetourt County with an industry leader creating a destination location.”

Deschutes Selects Roanoke, Virginia For East Coast Brewery

Deschutes Brewery has finally announced its selection of a site in Roanoke, VA as the location for its new east coast brewery operations.

Deschutes Brewery Roanoke, Virginia

Deschutes Brewery Roanoke, Virginia (photo –

The selection of the Roanoke facility, dubbed “Brew 4,” comes after an extensive multi-year search by Deschutes for the right location, community and resources to expand on the east coast.

Supported by the Roanoke Regional Partnership, Roanoke EDA, City of Roanoke, Virginia Economic Development Partnership and a long list of state, local and regional partners, the company has chosen to invest $85 million to establish the new facility at the eastern edge of Roanoke on a 49-acre site in the Roanoke Centre for Industry & Technology.

RCIT is a 440-acre industrial park located in an Enterprise Zone, less than four miles to the Norfolk Southern Bulk Transfer Terminal and eight miles to Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport. The location is adjacent to U.S. Route 460 and offers quick access to I-581 and I-81.

Deschutes will eventually employ 108 people at this site. An analysis by the Roanoke Regional Partnership shows that the project will generate a $209 million economic impact and spur creation of more than 305 secondary jobs for the region.

The new brewery will produce approximately 150,000 barrels initially, with a design to increase capacity as needed. The Deschutes facility is expected to start shipping beer from the Roanoke location in about five years.

Deschutes Brewery was founded in 1988 by Gary Fish as a brew pub in Bend, OR. After nearly 28 years, Deschutes now ships beer to 28 states, the District of Columbia, and locations around the world. Fish said in a statement that they started Deschutes Brewery when craft beer wasn’t burgeoning and led with a beer style that wasn’t popular at the time – Black Butte Porter. “This pioneering approach was a key driver behind our decision to go with Roanoke, as that same spirit exists in this community and its fast-growing beer culture,” said Fish.

Announcing the project, Governor Terry McAuliffe noted that “Virginia’s competitive bid for Deschutes Brewery’s coveted East Coast location was tireless and aggressive, and we are gratified that the company has chosen the City of Roanoke for this major operation.”

The importance of this project for Roanoke, and the sheer amount of effort that went into securing it, can be judged from this month-by-month timeline of the Deschutes Brewery site selection process, starting all the way back from Jan 2012. Not to mention the 49 organizations listed as partners who worked to secure this project for the region and Virginia.

Beth Doughty of the Roanoke Regional Partnership said in a statement that “You can tell by the over-the-top reaction from the people who live here, that we all believe Deschutes Brewery will make a huge difference in this community.”

Michael LaLonde, president of Deschutes Brewery, who was an integral part of the east coast location selection team, added that “After visiting several amazing communities over the past two years, we are very excited to be heading to Roanoke…We have absolutely been blown away with how the community rallied around bringing us here and has given us such a warm welcome.”

Charles Hunter II, chair of the Roanoke Economic Development Authority, added that “The Economic Development Authority is thrilled to support Deschutes Brewery in the decision to construct their East Coast manufacturing and distribution facility in the City of Roanoke.”

Also, Governor McAuliffe approved a $3 million grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Roanoke with the project. The company will also be eligible to receive up to a $250,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund (AFID).

Deschutes is eligible to receive funding from the Economic Development Access Program administered by the Virginia Department of Transportation, and state incentives from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program. Funding support for employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

Norfolk Southern Corporate Headquarters Expansion Brings Another 165 Jobs to Norfolk, Virginia

Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) has announced plans for an expansion of its corporate headquarters in Norfolk, VA.

Norfolk Southern HQ in Norfolk, VA

Norfolk Southern HQ in Norfolk, VA (photo – William Grimes/wikipedia)

The project includes an investment of $8.2 million and the addition of 165 new jobs in Norfolk, necessitated by the consolidation of the company’s corporate offices in Norfolk and Atlanta, and the relocation of several departments from Roanoke to Norfolk.

Roanoke remains the headquarters for Norfolk Southern’s Pocahontas Division, and more than 1,350 employees will continue to work in the city. A local switching yard and locomotive and car maintenance facilities will also continue to remain in Roanoke.

In a statement announcing the expansion, Governor Terry McAuliffe said that “Norfolk Southern is a vital corporate partner and economic engine for the Commonwealth, and retaining the company’s strong presence in Virginia is a top priority.”

Gov. McAuliffe has approved a $1.925 million grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist the City of Norfolk with the project.

Norfolk Mayor Paul D. Fraim noted that “Norfolk Southern continues its long-term relationship with Virginia and Norfolk by choosing to relocate 165 new jobs to our city.”

Jim Squires, NS chairman, president and CEO added that “Norfolk Southern has called the City of Norfolk home since 1982 and has been a vibrant partner in economic development and community initiatives.”

But the company’s impact on Norfolk economic development pales in comparison with the impact of the NS rail network in the eastern United States. In Virginia, Norfolk Southern last year employed 4,537 people, funded a payroll of $363 million, and spent $223 million in purchases and payments with suppliers and local businesses.

The Norfolk Southern Railway Company operates approximately 20,000 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia, and serves every major container port on the east coast. Norfolk Southern operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is a major transporter of coal, automotive, and industrial products.

Last year alone, Norfolk Southern’s economic development assistance helped 61 industries locate and another 32 expand in communities along its rail lines, in the process facilitating $4.2 billion in industrial investment. These projects are expected to create 6,200 new jobs in the railroad’s territory, generating more than 85,000 carloads of new rail traffic annually.

Norfolk Southern works with state and local economic development authorities on projects involving site location and development of infrastructure to connect customers to its rail system. NS provides free and confidential plant location services, including industrial park planning, site layout, track design, and supply chain analysis.

Over the past 10 years, the NS Industrial Development Department has participated in the location or expansion of a total of 989 facilities representing an investment of nearly $60 billion and creating more than 42,000 new customer jobs in the territory served by the railroad.

ELDOR’s First US Manufacturing Facility is Largest New Location Project in Botetourt County, Virginia

Italian automotive components manufacturer ELDOR Corporation has announced the selection of Botetourt County, VA as the location for its first U.S. manufacturing plant.


ELDOR (photo –

Supported by the Roanoke Regional Partnership, Botetourt County EDA, and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the company is investing $75 million to establish its 250,000-square-foot facility on an approximately 53-acre site at Botetourt Center in Greenfield, VA.

The company expects to create 350 new jobs over the next five years at this facility. This is the largest new location project announcement of jobs and investment in Botetourt County history.

Headquartered in Orsenigo, Como, Italy, ELDOR already has production plants in Italy, Turkey, China and Brazil, in addition to technical offices in Detroit, China and Germany, three research and development operations in Italy. The company has annual revenues of $300 million and growing.

Pasquale Forte, president and CEO of ELDOR Corporation, said in a statement that “Technology, passion, dreams: this is ELDOR and we are confident that Virginia – and the County of Botetourt in particular – is the best choice to carry on, with passion, this dream.”

The Roanoke Regional Partnership worked on this project for nine months as ELDOR executives evaluated more than 160 sites in six states as part of a comprehensive site selection process. Governor Terry McAuliffe likewise met with the company founder at their headquarters in Italy during his June 2015 European Marketing Mission, following an initial meeting last year at the SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington, D.C.

Gov. McAuliffe has also approved a $3.2 million grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Botetourt County with this project. ELDOR is furthermore receiving benefits from the Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Zone Grant Program, and will get funding and support for employee training activities through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

Beth Doughty, executive director of the Partnership, noted that ELDOR recognizes the region’s good market access, higher education assets, low costs of doing business, and productive work force. “In Greenfield, they liked that it was close to services, housing, and recreation. Livability matters in today’s world,” said Doughty.

Botetourt County Economic Development Authority Chair Joyce Kessinger added that the EDA has worked hand in glove with the Board of Supervisors and the County Administrator’s staff to support the efforts of recruiting ELDOR to the region, and will continue working hard to assist the project in becoming operational in Botetourt County.

The project will have an overall annual economic impact of $246,519,714 by 2021. Apart from the investment and direct jobs being created, it is expected to spur creation of more than 500 secondary jobs across the Roanoke region.

Norfolk, Virginia Gets ADP Regional Customer Service Center With 1800 Jobs

ADP (NASDAQ: ADP) has announced plans to establish a regional customer service center in the City of Norfolk, VA.


ADP (photo –

Supported by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, City of Norfolk, and the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance, the company is investing $32.25 million to build the regional customer service center.

ADP expects this project to create 1,800 new jobs for Norfolk and the Hampton Roads region.

Announcing the project for Virginia, Governor Terry McAuliffe said in a statement that “This project is transformational for the Hampton Roads region, providing 1,800 job opportunities for members of the military transitioning to civilian life, as well as military spouses and Virginia citizens.”

Debbie Dyson, corporate vice president of client experience and continuous improvement at ADP, said they chose to locate a new facility in Norfolk because of the thriving business climate in the city and Virginia. “We thank and acknowledge the efforts of our community partners, who provided critical support throughout the decision-making process,” added Dyson.

The project was secured by VEDP working in partnership with the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance and the City of Norfolk. The latter received a $5 million grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund that was approved by Governor McAuliffe to assist the City with the project.

Norfolk Mayor Paul D. Fraim said in a statement that “I want to thank Governor McAuliffe for his leadership and valuable support of this effort.” Mayor Fraim noted that while ADP will be located in downtown Norfolk, its arrival will benefit the entire region – diversifying the economy, enhancing its reputation as a global competitor and, importantly, validating the city’s long-time efforts to attract a talented younger population to its urban core to live and work.

The company is also eligible to receive additional incentives under the Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit program, and will get funding and support for its employee training activities through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

John Padgett, chairman of the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance’s Board, said that it is exciting to see ADP invest in Hampton Roads. “We are confident that ADP and Hampton Roads will continue to grow and provide economic opportunities for our region and its citizens,” said Padgett.

Roseland, NJ-based ADP LLC, a subsidiary of Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADP), is a global leader in payroll services with nearly $11 billion in revenues. ADP’s 60,000 employees serve approximately 610,000 clients in more than 125 countries.

Iron Mountain Selects Prince William County, VA For $350M Data Center Campus

The Prince William County Dept. of Economic Development announced that Iron Mountain Information Management, LLC has selected Manassas, VA as the location for a $350 million state-of-the-art data center campus.

Iron Mountain

Iron Mountain (photo – WestportWiki/wikimedia)

The project will bring 25 highly skilled Iron Mountain jobs and another projected 25 tenant positions to Prince William County, all at an average salary of $100,000 a year.

Governor Terry McAuliffe said in a statement that “We are delighted to welcome Iron Mountain’s first Virginia data center to Prince William County.”

Mark Kidd, Iron Mountain Senior Vice President and General Manager, Data Centers, said that they explored several U.S. locations for this expansion and Prince William County was a clear forerunner. “Prince William County is a great fit for us with our focus on security, compliance, efficiency and reliability,” added Kidd.

The company cited the availability of large industrial zoned sites and abundant fiber and power among the reasons for selecting the site in Manassas, VA. The site is a short distance from a new power substation and switching station, allowing for underground power distribution. The data center campus plan includes three buildings totaling 375,000 square feet, with future growth capacity.

The PWC Board of County Supervisors have approved an agreement between the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) of Prince William County and Iron Mountain Information Management, LLC. Prince William County economic development incentives for the project include $500,000 in water and sewer availability fee credits that have been assigned to the IDA, as an incentive for the project.

The Iron Mountain project will not only further diversify and expand the data center colocation market in the County, but also allows Iron Mountain Data Centers to enter the Greater Washington metropolitan area from a strategic location. According to a recent JLL study, Northern Virginia is already the biggest multi-tenant data center market in the country.

Corey A. Stewart, Chairman, Prince William Board of County Supervisors noted that “We are continuing to grow these highly skilled job opportunities by attracting global companies that recognize the full advantages of the County’s strategic location and lowest competitive costs in the Greater Washington metropolitan area.”

Boston, MA-based Iron Mountain Inc. (NYSE: IRM) is a Fortune 1000 company founded in 1951. It is now a leading provider of storage and information management services with a real estate network of more than 69 million square feet across more than 1,100 facilities in 37 countries.

Virginia Governor Announces Matching Grants to Spur Job Creation, Economic Development, and Visitor Spending

Governor Terry McAuliffe has announced that 39 local tourism initiatives will receive $812,000 in matching grant funds under the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s Marketing Leverage Program.

Virginia - Open for Business

Virginia – Open for Business (photo – paulhami/flickr)

The VTC grants under this program are designed to help local and regional tourism entities attract more visitors by leveraging local marketing dollars and will ultimately impact at least 153 other statewide tourism entities.

The local organizations receiving the state grant funds will match it by a minimum of 2:1 in order to support marketing projects. The local partners in this funding round will match the VTC grant dollars with more than $2.6 million of their own, adding up to a total of more than $3.4 million total in new marketing to increase visitation to Virginia.

Announcing the grant awards at an event in Richmond, Gov. McAuliffe said in a statement that the Marketing Leverage Grant program is designed to spur Virginia economic development, job creation, and visitor spending through new or enhanced tourism products.

“These grants are proven to increase visitation by creating marketing partnerships and effective marketing programs,” said Gov. McAuliffe.

The VTC Marketing Leverage Program is designed to increase visitor spending in Virginia by leveraging marketing dollars to stimulate new tourism marketing through partnerships.

Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones said in a statement that “These public-private partnerships will help attract visitors to Virginia who will spend money in our cities and towns to support job growth.”

Partners may consist of Virginia cities, towns, counties, CVBs, chambers of commerce, and other local or regional destination marketing organizations. Applicants may also be private businesses, museums, attractions, cultural events, and other not-for-profit entities.

Marketing campaigns that received these Marketing Leverage Grants have been able to increase visitation by 15 percent, and every VTC dollar invested in grants resulted in $16 of direct visitor spending. A minimum of three Virginia entities must partner financially to apply for a VTC Marketing Leverage grant.

VTC awards approximately $1.7 million annually, which is typically matched and leveraged on average 3:1 by partner dollars. The total state and leveraged investment provides big returns for Virginia, where tourism generated $22.4 billion in revenue in 2014, and supported 217,000 jobs and provided $1.5 billion in state and local taxes.

Smart Shopping App Basket Savings Relocates From DC to Arlington, Virginia

Basket Savings, an application software company that has developed a smart shopping mobile app to help consumers save money and make educated shopping decisions, will relocate its operations from Washington, D.C. to the Clarendon neighborhood in Arlington County, VA.

Virginia – Open for Business

Virginia – Open for Business (photo – paulhami/flickr)

Supported by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP), Arlington County, and Arlington Economic Development (AED), the company is investing $10 million to establish its new operations in Arlington and create 65 new technology jobs paying above the prevailing average wage in the region.

Announcing the relocation, Governor Terry McAuliffe said in a release that “The Commonwealth is thrilled to welcome Basket to its roster of world-class companies that choose Virginia, boosting our position as a next generation technology leader.”

The Basket app for iOS and Android, launched earlier this year in January, enables users to not only search for their favorite products at local grocery stores, but to also see which store is currently offering the best published and unpublished sale prices. All the prices are community-generated, fed into the system by shoppers themselves as they buy goods every day.

Neil Kataria, founder and CEO of Basket, explained why they chose to locate in Virginia. “There are hundreds of millions of consumers that haven’t benefitted from the wave of innovation in commerce because they don’t live in the middle of New York or San Francisco. Virginia is an incredible cross section of America and the perfect location for us to invest in the community and in growing our company,” said Kataria.

VEDP worked with Arlington County to secure the project over stiff competition from Washington, D.C. Gov. McAuliffe approved a $125,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund, which will be matched by Arlington County. Additional funding and services for employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey said in a statement that “As Arlington’s technology innovation hub continues to grow and prosper, we believe Basket’s decision to relocate here from Washington, D.C. will prove to be a successful one for them, and we look forward to working with Basket as the company continues to grow.”

Victor Hoskins, director of Arlington Economic Development, added they are excited to welcome this innovative company to Arlington. “Our commitment to diversify Arlington’s economy by becoming a hub for disruptive technology companies is paying off with companies like Basket,” said Hoskins.

Graphic Packaging to Invest $20M in Staunton, Virginia Operations

Graphic Packaging International, Inc. has announced plans for a major expansion at its recently acquired folding carton plant in Staunton, VA.

Staunton, VA Graphic Packaging

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Supported by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Shenandoah Valley Partnership and the City of Staunton, the company will invest $20 million and expects to create 43 new jobs as part of the expansion.

Graphic Packaging International, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Atlanta, GA-based Graphic Packaging Holding Company (NYSE: GPK). The Company is a leading provider of packaging solutions for a wide variety of products, and one of the largest producers of folding cartons.

Acquisition of a home-grown regional competitor by a Fortune 1000 company located elsewhere would typically mean downsizing, loss of jobs, or even a complete relocation of operations. But in this case, Graphic Packaging is doubling down on its acquisition of Staunton, VA-based Carded Graphics, LLC. The packaging industry giant’s plans for expanding in the region will likely result in many more Staunton economic development wins.

Staunton Mayor Carolyn Dull noted in a statement that “Staunton’s new relationship with Graphic Packaging International – a global company well-established in North America, Europe, South America and Australia – will open the doors to people and suppliers from around the world.”

Last year in October, Graphic Packaging International, Inc. announced the acquisition of the converting assets of Carded Graphics. The latter has a long history of success in Staunton since 1996, and has established a strong regional position in the food, craft beer and other consumer product markets.

Michael Doss, President and CEO of Graphic Packaging International, Inc., said in a release that the Staunton folding carton plant is strategically important for Graphic Packaging to execute their business plan. “We selected Staunton for our expansion after a thorough assessment, and we thank the leaders and citizens of Virginia and the City of Staunton for their continued partnership,” said Doss.

The project was secured through the efforts of VEDP, working in partnership with the City of Staunton and the Shenandoah Valley Partnership. Governor Terry McAuliffe approved a $250,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Staunton with the project.

Gov. McAuliffe said in the release that “The advanced manufacturing sector continues to gain momentum in the Commonwealth, and we are proud that Graphic Packaging International is a leader in this key industry and investing in the future of its operation in the City of Staunton.”

The company is also eligible to receive state incentives through the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, and will furthermore receive funding and services for employee training activities through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

DC, MD, VA Regional Economic Development Mission to Cuba

The Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GWHCC) announced a historic regional exploratory mission to Cuba that will include top state and regional government and economic development leaders from the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

DC, MD, VA econdev trip to Cuba

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The 41-member delegation will be in Cuba February 20-25, and includes DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and DC Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Brian Kenner; Montgomery County, MD Executive Ike Leggett; and Virginia Secretary of Commerce Maurice Jones.

Secretary Jones said in a statement that this mission is a great opportunity to build relationships that will be the foundation for economic development, tourism and trade opportunities for the region and the Commonwealth of Virginia. “I look forward to collaborating with my partners from Maryland and the District of Columbia to highlight the world-class assets we have,” added Sec. Jones.

In Havana, the delegation is scheduled to meet with Havana Mayor Marta Hernandez Romero, Cuba Minister of Foreign Affairs Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, and Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz. Members of the delegation will also meet with U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis to discuss diplomacy and economic opportunities for regional businesses in Havana.

Mayor Bowser noted that “From China to Cuba – and everywhere in between – these missions are important because they can create jobs for our residents and improve our local economies. I look forward to joining my fellow regional leaders to Cuba as we explore investment opportunities and position ourselves for greater economic success.”

Delegates will tour research hospitals and local clinics to learn about strategies that achieve high health standards with scarce resources. The delegation will also visit primary and secondary schools and the University of Havana to learn about Cuba’s consistently high educational successes.

Montgomery County, Maryland Executive Ike Leggett added that “I look forward to exploring ways that Montgomery County residents and businesses can connect with Cuba and with our regional partners to advance our mutual interests.”

GWHCC CEO Angela Franco added that “We are hopeful this mission will be a start to securing future economic and community benefits for the region, its residents, and its businesses.”

This joint mission from the DC region was preceded by a Virginia economic development trip to Cuba that was led by Governor Terry McAuliffe. During this trip, Gov. McAuliffe had a meeting with Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz, who has accepted an invitation to visit Virginia.

Diaz’s ministry MINCEX is the Cuban agency responsible for promoting foreign trade and commercial transactions between Cuban enterprises and business entities in other countries.  The agency develops and proposes policies, conducts trade negotiations with other countries and signs agreements to further economic development.

Other states are likewise making a beeline for Cuba. An exploratory mission from Iowa led by the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) is currently in Cuba. Texas Governor Greg Abbott has just returned from an economic development trip to Cuba during which he met with officials to discuss opportunities for increasing investment and building trade relationships between Texas and Cuba.

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