"It showed we do have an interest to sit down and talk with them and say, "is there anything we can do as a state to encourage expansions in West Virginia?" Tomblin said.
He said the 16-day partial shutdown of the federal government was a frequent topic of conversation during the trip, prior to Congress reaching an agreement Wednesday. However, he said the delegation was able to assure their hosts that the shutdown had minimal impact on operations of state government or on businesses in West Virginia.
Tomblin and Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette addressed the media from a teleconferencing room at the Zurich World Trade Center.
Burdette said the state's office in the trade center is about one-third the cost of the state's former European trade office in Munich, Germany.
He said the high-tech features, such as the conferencing center, essentially provide the state with virtual office space throughout Europe.
"It's not only going to provide us more resources around Europe, but at a fraction of the cost," he said.
Burdette said the state Development Office does not currently have a European trade office director, but said international economic development representative Angela Mascia, who participated in the trade mission, is spending part of her time at the Zurich office.
Also in the entourage are Hallie Mason, the governor's director of public policy; state Development Office international development director Steve Spence; and two State Police troopers on the governor's security detail.
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.