NORFOLK, VA –Earlier today, the Virginia Chamber Foundation concluded its two-day conference focused around the perspectives on how to better position Virginia for global trade opportunities. This conference, hosted by the Virginia Chamber Foundation, the Virginia Maritime Association, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the Virginia Manufacturers Association, featured keynote remarks provided by Governor Ralph Northam and Todd Haymore and panel discussions from some of Virginia’s leading industry experts, business community members, and current and former members of the Administration.

During this morning’s keynote remarks, Governor Ralph Northam unveiled Virginia’s first comprehensive international trade plan.

“International trade is a powerful economic engine for our Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “Maintaining Virginia’s position as the best state to do business and ensuring that all regions of the Commonwealth can participate in our economic growth requires that we boost our international trade. Virginia has a great deal to offer, including the East Coast’s deepest port, and we are committed to doing more to support and promote growth-minded companies as they successfully expand into global markets. I am proud of the many partners collaborating to meet our aggressive goals in this area, and help position the Commonwealth to be more competitive in a globally connected economy.”

“The Conference on World Trade provides a valuable opportunity for Virginia’s business community to come together for meaningful conversations about the importance of commerce and trade to Virginia’s economy,” said Chamber President & CEO Barry DuVal. “We were pleased to have Governor Northam select this conference as the setting to release his international trade plan. The Virginia Chamber stands ready to assist the Administration as it implements this forward-thinking initiative to increase global trade opportunities for our Commonwealth.”

Highlights from the two-day conference include:

  • Keynote Remarks:
    • The Honorable Governor Ralph Northam, 73rd Governor of Virginia
    • The Honorable Todd Haymore, Managing Director, Global Economic Development, Commerce & Government Relations Group, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, Former Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade (2016-2018), Former Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry (2010 – 2016)
  • Panel Discussions:
    • Ensuring Infrastructure and Economic Development Drive Trade Growth
    • Streamlining Global Trade Flows with Strong International Supply Chains
    • United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA)
  • Presentation of the Commonwealth of Virginia Governor’s Award for Excellence in International Trade:
    • The Honorable Governor Ralph Northam, 73rd Governor of Virginia
    • Honoree: The Turman Group
  • Presentation of the Virginia International Business Council’s Global Excellence Award:
    • Stephanie Agee, Director of Marketing & Development, Virginia Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services
    • Honoree: The Honorable Bettina Ring, Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry


To view a clip of today’s remarks from Governor Northam click here:

To view The International Trade Strategic Plan for the Commonwealth of Virginia click here:

To view Governor Northam’s press release announcing The International Trade Strategic Plan for the Commonwealth of Virginia click here:

For more information or to view the agenda visit:

 About the Virginia Chamber Foundation:

The Virginia Chamber Foundation tracks Virginia’s economic competitiveness, conducts research and analysis, and hosts programs – connected to the priorities of Blueprint Virginia 2025.  In December 2017, the Chamber released an update to its long-term strategic economic development plan, Blueprint Virginia 2025, which engaged over 6,000 business and community leaders to lay out a plan to getting Virginia back to the top of national business climate rankings. Learn more at

Tide Water News