- The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) and SelectFlorida led a Florida delegation on a trade and business development trip across Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
- The participating agencies focused on enhancing Florida’s global presence in the global technology and healthcare sectors.
- The European mission is part of a series of international trade missions by Florida state officials in 2023, including previous trips to Japan and a multi-country tour by Gov. Ron DeSantis and other state leaders.
A Florida delegation led by the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), alongside representatives from SelectFlorida completed a trade and business development mission in Europe, the business group announced on Wednesday.
The trip, spanned Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands, according to agency officials, and aimed to strengthen Florida’s role in global markets, particularly in technology and healthcare.
“Our trade mission to Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands opened new opportunities to collaborate with European industry leaders, strengthening Florida’s position on the global stage,” said Deputy Secretary of Economic Development and President of SelectFlorida TJ Villamil.
The mission’s headlining event was the participation in MEDICA in Germany, the world’s largest medical trade fair. During the function, the state showcased 24 companies, leading to an estimated $103 million in export sales.
As part of the broader trade mission, the delegation met with technology and healthcare leaders in Germany, including discussions at Plug & Play Stuttgart, capping the recent announcement of the Plug & Play NeoCity location in Florida, scheduled for launch in January 2024, and Munich’s Klinikum Rechts De Isar, a leading university hospital, focusing on potential collaboration between healthcare entities in Munich and Florida.
“This trade mission was a critical step towards advancing healthcare integration and building partnerships with European companies that can help improve healthcare in Florida,” said AHCA Secretary Jason C. Weida.
More than 200 companies from German-speaking markets operate subsidiaries in Florida, which yielded $5.3 billion in total bilateral merchandise trade in 2022 – making it Florida’s 2nd largest bilateral merchandise trade partner in the European Union.
The Belgium leg of the trip involved visits to Health House and the Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC) in Leuven, supplemented by a meeting with AGORIA in Brussels. In the Netherlands, the Florida team held discussions through the European-American Chamber of Commerce. In 2022, bilateral merchandise trade between Belgium and Florida totaled more than $678 million
In The Netherlands, the Florida coalition worked to strengthen economic relationships through the European-American Chamber of Commerce in Amsterdam. During the Chamber event, the state partook in an event that promoted Florida business dealings to more than 50 foreign direct investment prospects and multiplier organizations.
The trip marks the third trade mission conducted by state officials this year. In October, Florida Secretary of State Cord Byrd, alongside SelectFlorida, engaged in a trade mission to Japan focusing on strengthening economic partnerships between Florida and Japan.
The mission, which took place from October 8 to 14, 2023, saw a delegation from Florida, including businesses, public universities, and other stakeholders, participate in collaboration with the 45th Annual Southeast U.S./Japan Association meeting (SEUS-Japan).
In April, Gov. Ron DeSantis, First Lady Casey DeSantis, Byrd, and then-Florida Secretary of Commerce Laura DiBella conducted an international trade mission to Japan, South Korea, Israel, and the United Kingdom aimed at building on economic relationships that Florida has with each of the four countries. Last month, as a result of the trip, the state and the United Kingdom (UK) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen business and academic ties between Florida and the UK.