Ashton Marra Published

Tomblin to travel Europe promoting W.Va. industries

Govrnor Earl Ray Tomblin sitting in front of a blue background at a table with small, international flags in front of him.

Governor Tomblin announced a trip later this month touring 5 European countries to lobby business leaders for investment in West Virginia industries.

The 13 day trip is scheduled for mid-October and has the governor and three members of the state’s Development Office meeting with business leaders in Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland and Italy.

Tomblin said he will be focusing on strengthening the relationships West Virginia has with companies already doing business in the state as well as targeting some who are considering investing.

One of the main focuses is a plastic-polymer trade show in which the governor said the state can offer the abundant bi-products of the Marcellus shale industry, in particular ethane, to the industries for production.

“My whole goal is to create jobs and bring investment to the state of West Virginia and my theory has been you can’t sit and wait for business to come through the door,” Tomblin said during a press conference Tuesday. “You have to go out and let people know what we have to offer in West Virginia and that’s what we hope to do on this mission.”

Nearly one-third, or $11.3 billion in West Virginia’s annual exports go to Europe.

The governor’s office has not yet released the amount this trip will cost the state.