VEDP’s International Trade programs provide direct support to Virginia companies committed to increasing their international export sales as a corporate growth strategy. These services help companies identify potential new markets, develop market entry strategies, and locate possible distributors and representatives for products or services – all at little to no cost to the company.

For a full overview of VEDP’s International Trade program, a calendar of events, and resources that include contact information for offices located throughout Virginia, please visit www.ExportVirginia.org.


TMEIC, Roanoke

International Trade’s Impact on Virginia

Virginia’s total state exports reached $35.9 billion in 2017.

International trade contributes significantly to Virginia’s economy though jobs, income, and taxes. The estimated direct, indirect, and induced economic impact of Virginia’s direct imports in 2014 represented:

  • 6.4% of GSP
  • 8.5% of total state employment with 320,963 jobs
  • $18.7 billion in labor income
  • $2 billion in tax revenue


  • Over half of Virginia’s exports are in services, a significantly higher share than the U.S. overall
  • The VALET program (Virginia Leaders in Export Trade) generates an average increase in international sales of 59% for participating companies

Program Descriptions

VEDP’s International Trade Division currently provides these programs and services to Virginia companies committed to increasing their international export sales as a corporate growth strategy:

Global Defense Program (GDP)

GDP helps Virginia’s defense companies diversify into new international markets. Eligible defense-related companies receive assistance with strategy, export compliance, matchmaking, translation, and market research. They also participate in vendor days with U.S. Combatant Commands overseas.

International Market Research

A global network of in-country consultants covering more than 75 countries delivers over 200 international market research reports to Virginia companies annually. These experts provide valuable in-country market research specific to each company’s product or service.

State Trade & Export Promotion (STEP) Grant

The STEP Grant is designed to increase the number of small businesses that export and raise the value of goods and services exported. The program is funded through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Trade Missions

VEDP conducts trade missions where Virginia companies travel internationally to meet face-to-face with potential customers. Meetings are prequalified based on a participating company’s export market objectives.

Trade Show Assistance Program

VEDP provides reimbursements, up to $10,000, to Virginia companies participating as exhibitors at international trade shows. To qualify for eligibility, the trade show must occur overseas or, if domestic, have a demonstrated international component.

Companies may also choose to participate with VEDP at select international trade shows. Virginia’s booth provides the ideal base for co-exhibiting companies, allowing participants to exhibit products and services as well as network with prospective customers.

Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET)

VALET is a two-year international business acceleration program that offers a combination of capital resources provided by the Commonwealth and professional services from private-sector partners. Following a very thorough evaluation process, only 25 companies per year are accepted into the VALET program.

Virginia International Gateway

Virginia International Gateway, Portsmouth