Virginia opens Shanghai trade office

{ }RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia is opening a trade office in Shanghai to increase agricultural and forestry sales to China, the state's largest export customer.

Gov. Bob McDonnell announced the opening Tuesday as he continues a trade and marketing mission to Asia. China purchased nearly $640 million in agricultural goods last year from Virginia.

McDonnell said the Shanghai office is in China's economic and commercial capital. He said only North Carolina has a dedicated agricultural trade office in China. North Carolina's office is in Beijing.

Virginia already has trade offices in some of the fast-growing countries on the planet, including India. Later this year, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will position a trade representative in Canada. The department has had a trade office in Honk Kong for more than 20 years.