Virginia Exports & Foreign Investment


In 2023, Virginia exported not a record $22.4 billion of goods to the world.  In 2021, exports from Virginia supported an estimated 75 thousand jobs.


Exports from Virginia and Jobs

  • Virginia was the 24th largest state exporter of goods in 2023.
  • In 2023, Virginia goods exports were $22.4 billion, an increase of 25 percent ($4.5 billion) from its export level in 2013 (latest data available).
  • Goods exports accounted for 3.2 percent of Virginia GDP in 2023 (latest data available).
  • Virginia goods exports in 2021 (latest data available) supported an estimated 75 thousand jobs. Nationally, jobs supported by goods exports pay up to an estimated 18 percent above the national average.

Manufacturing Exports from Virginia and Jobs

  • In 2023, Virginia exported $15.5 billion of manufactured products.
  • Virginia exports of manufactured products supported an estimated 58 thousand jobs in 2021 (latest data available).
  • The state's largest manufacturing export category is chemicals, which accounted for $2.8 billion of Virginia's total goods exports in 2023.
  • Other top manufacturing exports are computer and electronic products ($2.6 billion), transportation equipment ($2.1 billion), machinery, except electrical ($1.6 billion), and food and kindred products ($1.2 billion).


Exports Sustain Thousands of Virginia Businesses many of which are SMEs

  • A total of 7,413 companies exported from Virginia locations in 2022 (latest data available). Of those, 6,258 (84 percent) were small and medium sized enterprises with fewer than 500 employees.
  •  Small and medium-sized firms generated 39.6 percent of Virginia's total exports of goods in 2022.


Virginia Depends on World Markets

  • The state’s largest market was Canada. Virginia exported $3.6 billion in goods to Canada in 2023, representing 16 percent of the state’s total goods exports.
  • Canada was followed by China ($2.0 billion), India ($1.8 billion), Mexico ($1.2 billion), and Netherlands ($1.0 billion).
  • Virginia’s exports to major world areas included:


2023 Value


$10.9 billion


$8.3 billion

European Union

$5.0 billion

South/Central America and Caribbean

$2.1 billion

Sub-Saharan Africa 

$298 million



  • 32 percent of Virginia’s goods exports ($7.2 billion) in 2023 went to current FTA partners. 

Agriculture in Virginia depends on Exports

  • Virginia is the country’s 33rd largest agricultural exporting state, shipping $1.5 billion in domestic agricultural exports abroad in 2022 (latest data available according to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture).[1]
  • Top Agricultural exports were:


2022 Value

 2022 State Rank

other plant products

$264 million



$196 million


other livestock products

$168 million


broiler meat

$136 million



$102 million




International Investment Creates Jobs in Virginia

  • In 2021 (latest data available), foreign-controlled companies employed 200,700 Virginia workers. Major sources of foreign investment in Virginia included the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Germany
  • Foreign investment in Virginia was responsible for 6.2 percent of the state's total private-industry employment in 2021.

Virginia’s Major Metropolitan Areas Benefit from Exporting

In 2022 (latest data available), the following metropolitan areas in Virginia recorded goods exports: Washington-Arlington-Alexandria ($14 billion), Richmond ($3.3 billion), Blacksburg-Christiansburg ($955.1 million), Roanoke ($768.3 million), Harrisonburg ($511.4 million), Winchester ($412 million), Lynchburg ($389.8 million), Staunton ($285.5 million), and Charlottesville ($202.1 million).

[1] Estimates of state exports of agricultural products by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture and goods exports by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce are based on different methodologies and are not directly comparable.