JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A new trade agreement between the United Kingdom and Florida was signed here in Jacksonville Tuesday by Governor Ron DeSantis and UK Secretary of State for Business and Trade Kemi Badenoch.
The new memorandum of understanding is the ninth agreement of its kind between the UK and states here in the US and according to Secretary Badenoch, it is by far the largest to date.
The agreement is aimed at increasing investments between Florida and the UK as well as strengthening trade, academic research, and business relationships.
Priority areas laid out in the agreement include space, fintech, medical tech, supply chains, cyber security, and more.
The UK is already the largest foreign investor in the State of Florida, with $18 billion in holdings and 350 companies with a presence in the Sunshine State accounting for 70,000 Florida jobs.
The Governor said the goal is to send a message that the two governments want to see those economic ties grow even stronger.
“The UK is also Florida’s 8th largest bilateral trade partner globally, number one trade partner from Europe. $5.8 billion in 2022 and that’s grown by 119 percent just over the last five years,” said DeSantis.
Action News Jax spoke exclusively with Secretary Badenoch after Tuesday’s announcement.
“What we don’t want to do is take a nice photo, sign a piece of paper and everybody goes home. It’s about us showing what the opportunities are,” said Badenoch.
She said it would be up to businesses going forward to leverage the agreement.
“So, for example, we know there’s a huge demand for insurance in Florida. We are insurance specialists in the UK, Lloyd’s of London has opened a branch in Miami as Governor DeSantis was saying. So that is something that will make a difference. It should help, if all works, make insurance cheaper for example,” said Badenoch.
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