Author: Warren Harris, Director, Virginia Beach Economic Development
18 Jul 2017
Virginia Beach attracts millions of visitors from around the world each year thanks to its strategic location at the heart of the US East Coast. The world’s leading technology companies recognise Virginia Beach as more than a vacation resort, though, and are eager develop a presence in the area after announcements that Telefónica, Microsoft and Facebook are planning to bring the world’s fastest transatlantic fibre cables to Virginia Beach in 2017 and 2018. MAREA, owned by the three tech giants, will bring the first ultra high-speed data cable from Bilbao, Spain to Virginia Beach in the fourth quarter of 2017. BRUSA, owned by Telefónica, will bring the second cable from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Virginia Beach in the first quarter of 2018. Additional cables are being planned, as are major data centre developments.
Virginia Beach is plugged-in and ready to go, with a world-class telecommunications system, complete with existing data centres and development sites. In addition to being the newest cable-landing site on the US East Coast, Virginia Beach boasts a robust broadband infrastructure that will support the next generation of telecommunication systems. A regional backbone will connect the area’s major government and education facilities, and will enable greatly expanded commercial and residential access to ultra high-speed networks.
As a business destination, Virginia Beach has many benefits. Chief among these is the Port of Virginia, a key gateway for global commerce
The Virginia Beach boom, especially in the international market, did not happen by accident. For years, we have focused on making the city attractive by creating an outstanding workforce development infrastructure, by keeping taxes and regulations low, by providing creative incentives based on companies’ needs, and by promoting Virginia Beach as a wonderful place to live and work. Today, there are more than 200 foreign businesses located in the Virginia Beach area, and more than 20 international firms have located their US or North American headquarters here. STIHL, Kettler, Busch, Hermes, Haulotte, SANJO Corte Fino and IMS Gear are just a few of the household names that call Virginia Beach home.
As a business destination, Virginia Beach has many benefits. Chief among these is the Port of Virginia, a key gateway for global commerce. Others include no machinery and tool tax, and a highly skilled workforce. More than 100,000 students are enrolled in our local colleges and universities, and innovative apprentice programmes provide trained employees who are ready to work on the world’s most advanced equipment.
The living is easy in Virginia Beach, and the city works hard to make life and business easy for our international arrivals. Thanks to the heavy volume of global trade that takes place here, companies have access to some of the best international business law and immigration attorneys in the US. Also, most Virginia Beach banks are experienced in conducting international financial transactions.
Whether it’s life-changing advances in the biosciences or breakthrough discoveries in tech, much of the country’s most exciting work is being done in Virginia, and in Virginia Beach in particular. New initiatives and innovative partnerships between local universities, government and private industry mean the momentum has only just begun.