Florida, United Kingdom sign business and trade pact

by | Nov 14, 2023

  • Gov. Ron DeSantis and United Kingdom (UK) Secretary of State for Business and Trade Kemi Badenoch signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Tuesday to enhance business and academic collaborations between their respective governments.
  • The MOU largely focuses on sectors like aerospace, medical and financial technology, and artificial intelligence.
  • British companies provide more than 70,000 jobs in Florida and hold assets worth approximately $80 billion in the state. 
  • The UK sees Florida as a key economic partner, with bilateral trade between the two reaching $5.8 billion in 2022, while tourism numbers remain strong.

Gov. Ron DeSantis and United Kingdom (UK) Secretary of State for Business and Trade Kemi Badenoch signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Tuesday to strengthen business and academic ties between Florida and the UK.

The agreement, of which its preparations were first reported on by The Capitolist in September, serves to enhance Florida’s economic connections with the UK, its top foreign investor. British companies are responsible for more than 70,000 jobs in Florida, holding assets worth around $80 billion in the state.

The partnership covers sectors including aerospace research and manufacturing, medical technology, financial technology, and emerging fields like artificial intelligence, concurrently promoting collaboration between Florida universities and UK educational institutions.

Florida is the national leader for business growth and economic development, and today’s MOU signing will continue to ensure our state remains the model for American excellence,” said DeSantis during the signing ceremony. “I am honored to stand today with MP Badenoch to strengthen the economic partnership between our state and the United Kingdom.”

The memorandum follows DeSantis’ international trade mission earlier this year to the U.K., South Korea, Japan, and Israel, where he secured multiple business agreements ahead of his expected presidential campaign launch. In April, DeSantis met with UK Foreign Minister James Cleverly, where they discussed Florida’s economic ties with the UK and mutual economic interests.

“Florida is a major economy in its own right, with a bigger GDP than most European countries,” said Badenoch. “From launching satellites to developing the latest fintech software, Florida’s leading high-tech companies offer huge opportunities to the UK’s rapidly expanding tech sector.”

The UK has signed formal MOUs with several U.S. states including Indiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah, and Washington, representing a combined GDP exceeding £2.2 trillion. The UK government is actively exploring similar partnerships with Texas, California, Colorado, and Illinois.

Bilateral trade between Florida and the UK reached $5.8 billion in 2022, reflecting a 119 percent growth over the past five years. Moreover, tourism between the two regions remains strong, with more than 1.1 million Britons visiting Florida in 2022, solidifying the UK’s status as one of Florida’s top sources of international visitors.


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