French companies will find easy access to the U.S. market with 47% of the U.S. population located within a one-day drive of Virginia. The Commonwealth’s strong transportation infrastructure ensures optimal access to major east/west and north/south interstate highways and rail lines, regional and international airports, and seaports.
Virginia’s exceptional logistics include:
- Six interstate highways
- Two Class 1 railroads – CSX and Norfolk Southern
- 16 commercial airports serving Virginia, including Washington Dulles International
- 3rd-busiest port on the East Coast – The Port of Virginia
The Port of Virginia is planning for additional growth with major expansion projects currently underway, and is the only port on the East Coast authorized for 55-foot channel depths to handle the larger cargo ships of the future as first and last port of call. The Port of Virginia moved 2.8 million TEUs in 2017 – making Virginia an ideal location for import or export centers to serve the U.S., Asia, or Latin America for French companies.
Virginia is adjacent to Washington, D.C., and within 480 kilometers of New York City.
Virginia’s proximity to Washington, D.C., allows for quick access to U.S. Embassies and federal decision-makers. Nonstop service to Paris (CDG) is available on United Airlines and Air France from Dulles International Airport, located in Virginia.
In Virginia, you will find a business-friendly environment. More than 800 internationally owned companies are located here, and the international base continues to grow.
Virginia has a competitive cost environment for business:
- Electricity rates are below the U.S. average at 6.26 cents per kilowatt hour vs. 6.88 cents nationally
- Unemployment insurance taxes are the 7th-lowest in the nation and 53% lower than the national average
- Average workers' compensation costs among the nation’s lowest
- Building costs that range from 6% to 21% below the national average, depending on the region
Virginia is ranked No.4 in Forbes and No.4 by CNBC in their Best States for Business studies. The Commonwealth also ranked No. 1 in the Forbes study for regulatory environment, which looks at labor regulations, tax incentives, health insurance mandates, and occupational licensing.
Virginia’s biggest strength lies in the quality and productivity of its workforce. Virginia is a right-to-work state and, at 5.9%, has the ninth-lowest unionization rate in the country. Virginia is known for its world-class higher education system that provides a strong pipeline of new graduates from local and regional universities.
The Virginia Community College System, comprising 23 community colleges, provides occupational and technical training programs, many of which are designed specifically to meet the needs of nearby industries. The Workforce Industry Credentials Grant program covers 124 different community college training programs at Virginia’s community colleges geared toward providing workforce credentials at one-third of their former cost to the student.
The Virginia Registered Apprenticeship is a training system that produces highly skilled workers through a combination of on-the-job training and theoretical classroom instruction to meet the demands of employers competing in a global economy.
Virginia is also a great place to live. Virginia’s diversity can be seen in its variety of landscapes, from Atlantic Coast beaches to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Virginia is home to a moderate four-season climate and provides a wealth of options for your employees to enjoy.
French Companies with Virginia Locations
In the last 10 years, nearly $750 million in capital investment has been announced by French companies in Virginia. (Source: fDi Markets)
Virginia ranks 12th in employment from Europe in the U.S. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, French companies employ more than 14,500 people in Virginia, including:
In 2017, France ranked 15th among Virginia export destinations.
According to the Embassy of France in the U.S., the value of bilateral trade between France and Virginia is more than $883 million.
Thierry Henry Former CEO, Andros Foods
Andros Foods chose Virginia for several reasons. The availability of fresh fruit sources in the state is an important element in Andros Foods’ fruit-processing operation, as well as the state’s support of agricultural activities. The well-maintained infrastructure (highways and port) in close proximity makes Virginia an attractive choice for current and expanded future operations.