The Governor and a delegation from Florida will visit four countries to discuss expanding economic opportunities
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that he will lead an international trade mission, organized in conjunction with Enterprise Florida, to Japan, South Korea, Israel and the United Kingdom. The mission will build on economic relationships Florida has with each country, and the Governor will meet with business executives and government leaders to discuss ways in which Florida can expand economic partnerships. The Governor will be joined by First Lady Casey DeSantis, Florida Secretary of State Cord Byrd and Florida Secretary of Commerce Laura DiBella.
“Florida has the 15th largest economy in the world, and that is because our state has worked to create partnerships with other countries to create jobs and boost the economy,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “This trade mission will give us the opportunity to strengthen economic relationships and continue to demonstrate Florida’s position as an economic leader.”
While in Japan, the Governor, First Lady, Secretary Byrd and Secretary DiBella will be meeting with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi as well as business executives. During this trip, the Governor will build on discussions that took place during the Southeastern United States – Japan Conference which was held in November 2022 in Florida.
Japan is the 6th largest foreign investor in Florida, with more than 200 Japanese companies employing more than 22,000 Floridians with holdings totaling more than $5.2 billion. Bilateral trade between Florida and Japan exceeds $6.6 billion, making it Florida’s 2nd largest bilateral merchandise trade partner in the Asia-Pacific region and Florida’s 7th largest partner overall.
Following Japan, the delegation will travel to South Korea where the Governor will meet with government leaders, including Gyeonggi Province Governor Kim Dong-yeon and Prime Minister Han Duck-soo.
Merchandise trade between Florida and South Korea exceeds $1.3 billion, making it Florida’s 7th largest bilateral trade partner in the Asia and Middle East region. South Korea imported more than $341.6 million from Florida in 2022, while Florida imported more than $951 million in goods from South Korea in 2022.
The delegation will then travel to Israel on Thursday, April 27th where the Governor will deliver the keynote address at an event to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the founding of Israel. While in Israel, the Governor and the delegation will meet with government leaders and Israeli companies that have invested or are interested in investing in Florida, including INSIGHTEC. INSIGHTEC is an Israeli company that has partnered with a consortium of Florida universities to use their innovative technologies to study Alzheimer’s disease.
Bilateral trade between Florida and Israel reached $651 million in 2022, demonstrating the growing partnership between the two countries. Over the past five years, bilateral merchandise trade has grown by 65%, and over the last ten years, bilateral trade has grown 176.1% between Florida and Israel. Israel is the 19th largest foreign investor in the state of Florida, with Israeli affiliates estimated to have total holdings of $647 million. There are more than 50 Israeli companies supporting more than 2,400 jobs in Florida. Florida has one non-stop flight from Miami International Airport to Tel Aviv which helps to support business relationships and promote tourism.
The Governor will end the trade mission with a visit to the United Kingdom (UK). The Governor and delegation will meet with business executives from companies with significant investments in Florida and government leaders, including the Foreign Minister of the United Kingdom, James Cleverly.
The UK is one of Florida’s most significant economic partners and Florida ranks among the top American state for British businesses and tourists. British companies account for 67,000 jobs in Florida, making the UK the top foreign investor in Florida. Each year, Florida companies supply a wide range of products to the UK, including aviation and aerospace products.
British affiliates are estimated to have total holdings of more than $18 billion in Florida with more than 350 companies that employ 67,000 people. The UK is Florida’s 8th largest trade partner with bilateral trade reaching $5.8 billion in 2022, with bilateral trade growing by 119% over the last five years.
Florida also has a strong tourism relationship with the UK. In 2022, more than 1.1 million people visited Florida from the UK. The UK consistently ranks as the 2nd largest group of international visitors to Florida on an annual basis. There are more than 79,000 British-born residents in Florida. Florida has nine direct flights to England and Scotland from three major Florida airports.
Originally published at https://www.flgov.com/2023/04/20/governor-ron-desantis-announces-international-trade-mission/