Going Global Defense Initiative


The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) has received grant funding for a third year of its Going Global Defense Initiative (GGDI). The purpose of this international program is to mitigate the negative impact of defense spending cuts on Virginia’s economy. With 5,000 defense companies in Virginia facing U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) announced spending reductions of more than $300 billion in the next five-plus years, Virginia stands to lose many high-paying jobs.

VEDP’s GGDI is the Commonwealth’s only program that replaces DOD revenue streams for Virginia’s defense companies, which, in turn, preserves jobs and replaces declining state tax revenues. In its first two years, VEDP’s GGDI enrolled 251 defense companies, of which 230 traveled to an international market in pursuit of new business. Participating companies projected an average increase in their international sales of 96 percent. Limited resources prevented VEDP from enrolling more companies.

VEDP has allocated nearly $2 million to assist Virginia’s defense-related companies adversely affected by defense budget reductions. This initiative leverages VEDP’s award-winning International Trade programs to promote diversification of Virginia defense companies into new international markets, thereby ensuring jobs for Virginia.

The Going Global Defense Initiative generates international sales for Virginia’s defense companies by providing: 

  • Market research
  • Export compliance
  • Technical translation and adaptation
  • Digital localization
  • Host-nation and U.S. combatant command cooperation
  • Export training and online tutorials

“As Virginia's economy continues to face federal budget cuts and sequestration, an aggressive economic development program like the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s Going Global Defense Initiative is a critical solution to offset losses. Virginia’s state budget is now suffering because of reduced DOD spending in what is one of Virginia’s largest industrial sectors. VEDP’s work with defense companies to identify new markets is the first program of its kind in the U.S. and is vital to growing and diversifying Virginia’s economy,” said Governor Terry McAuliffe.

“This is the kind of federal, state and private-sector partnership needed to grow the economy of the Commonwealth,” added Maurice Jones, Virginia’s secretary of commerce and trade. “We’re delighted to be working with our federal partners to provide assistance to Virginia’s defense and security businesses. This initiative will contribute to their future growth and health, thereby contributing to job growth in Virginia.”

“VEDP is delighted to continue this program to help Virginia defense-related companies grow in international markets,” said VEDP President and CEO Martin Briley. “Our International Trade program is one of the nation’s top-rated international export development programs. The health of Virginia’s defense sector is critical to a strong Virginia economy, and finding new business from international markets is a proven economic development model.”

To learn more about the Going Global Defense Initiative, visit www.ExportVirginia.org/defense.