DeSantis boosts Florida economic ties with South Korea, announces clean hydrogen technology and eVTOL collaboration

by | Apr 28, 2023

  • Florida Governor Ron DeSantis met with South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-Soo and other officials during the second leg of his international trade mission, aiming to strengthen economic ties and foster collaboration in clean hydrogen technology and eVTOL vehicle development.
  • DeSantis signed an MOU with LowCarbon Hydrogen Corporation to create a research hub in Florida, reaffirmed a sister state agreement with Gyeonggi Province, and discussed eVTOL possibilities with Hyundai Motor Group and Kia Corporation.
  • Florida’s trade with South Korea exceeds $1.3 billion annually, and the state is home to over $107 million in holdings from South Korean affiliates, including Hyundai Motor Group and Korean Airlines.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis met with South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-Soo on the second leg of his international trade mission, which also includes stops in Japan, Israel, and the United Kingdom. DeSantis was accompanied by First Lady Casey DeSantis, their children, Florida Secretary of State Cord Byrd, and Florida Secretary of Commerce Laura DiBella. The latest stop in South Korea was aimed at fostering economic ties between Florida and South Korea, which currently have an annual merchandise trade exceeding $1.3 billion.

While there, DeSantis signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with South Korea-based LowCarbon Hydrogen Corporation to establish a research hub for clean hydrogen technology in Florida. The company plans to develop a clean hydrogen facility in Polk County, Florida, set to break ground in June 2023. This collaboration with Space Florida supports the development and deployment of clean hydrogen and related technologies for aerospace and space industry launch applications.

In addition to the MOU, Governor DeSantis met with Gyeonggi Province Governor Kim Dong-yeon to reaffirm a sister state agreement between Florida and Gyeonggi Province. He also met with Hyundai Motor Group President Karl Kim and Kia Corporation President and CEO Hosung Song to discuss expanding their businesses in Florida, including possibilities for electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (eVTOL).

Hyundai is developing electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) vehicles. In the previous year, Hyundai and its partner Supernal revealed their inaugural eVTOL vehicle cabin concept, intending to certify a human-piloted eVTOL vehicle for commercial use in the U.S. by 2028. The objective of eVTOL technology is to achieve autonomy without human pilots by utilizing “sense-and-avoid” or “detect-and-avoid” technologies, which would allow for highly concentrated operations in urban environments, as described by Avionics International.

Currently, there are no federal regulations in place for autonomous operations within civilian airspace, but Florida offers prime testing grounds because of excellent flying weather nearly year-round.

Florida’s trade relationship with South Korea is significant, with the state importing more than $951 million in goods and exporting over $341.6 million in 2022. South Korean affiliates in Florida are estimated to have total holdings of more than $107 million, including companies like Hyundai Motor Group and Korean Airlines.


  1. Anonymous

    Two thumbs up for Governor DeSantis. We won’t be hearing anything about this on our local news — channel 10 news – who only criticizes DeSantis!

  2. dmmorrison

    Hope Han reminds him that abortion is entirely legal in South Korea.

    • The Truthhurts

      So does “DNC” stand for Demonic Nutjob Cult, now?

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