South Korean 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-largest 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 more than 3.5 million TEUs in 2021 – making Virginia an ideal location for import or export centers.
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 Seoul is available on Korean Air from Dulles International Airport, located in Virginia.
In Virginia, you will find a business-friendly environment. More than 820 internationally owned companies are located here, and the international base continues to grow.
One example of the strong relationship between Virginia and South Korea was the establishment, in 2014, of George Mason University Korea. GMU Korea is strategically located in the Incheon Global Campus (IGC). Degree programs offer students the unique opportunity to spend three years at GMU Korea in Songdo and one year in the U.S. at the campus in Fairfax, Virginia.
Virginia offers a wealth of excellent power, water, telecommunications, and other business infrastructure resources necessary to succeed in today's global economy. Many large companies have located major facilities and backup operations in Virginia because of state-of-the-art telecommunications infrastructure and dependable electric utilities.
Virginia has a competitive cost environment for business:
- Industrial electricity rates are below the U.S. average at 6.42 cents per kilowatt hour vs. 6.61 cents nationally (EEI, 2020)
- Unemployment insurance taxes are 6th-lowest in the nation and an average tax rate of 28% of total wages compared to the national average of 59% (The Tax Foundation)
- Average workers' compensation costs among the nation’s lowest
- Construction costs fall below the national average by 7% to 20%, depending on the region
Virginia is ranked No.1 by CNBC No.4 by Forbes in their Best States for Business studies. The Commonwealth also ranked No. 3 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 2.4%, has the fifth-lowest private sector unionization rate in the country (UnionStats, 2021). 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.
Virginia offers the affordable, exciting, and diverse environment that employees desire, with a mild, four-season climate, competitive cost of living, and world-class cultural events, outdoor experiences, and sports amenities. Whether in small towns or thriving urban communities, businesses that locate in Virginia have an advantage in attracting talent.
Korean Companies with Virginia Locations
Foreign investment accounts for more than 211,000 jobs in Virginia. A number of Korean companies have operations in Virginia, including:
Sangkyu Lee CEO, Navien
The close proximity of this property to the Port of Virginia and the flexibility to expand and allow for Navien’s continued investment over time helped us make this decision. Establishing an East Coast facility will support Navien’s growth and allow for faster delivery to primary eastern markets while balancing current shipments coming into California.