LONDON, UK – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis met with Foreign Minister James Cleverly to discuss Florida’s business relationship with the United Kingdom and mutual interests between the government of the United Kingdom and Florida. The Governor was joined by Florida Secretary of State Cord Byrd and Florida Secretary of Commerce Laura DiBella. The United Kingdom is one of Florida’s most significant economic partners and is the top foreign investor in the state.
All photos may be used courtesy of the Executive Office of the Governor.
“The United Kingdom has long been a strong partner of the United States,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Florida will continue to work with our friends here in the United Kingdom to maintain a strong relationship that benefits the economic interests of both Florida and the United Kingdom.”
“It was an honor to meet with Foreign Minister James Cleverly today,” said Laura DiBella, Florida Secretary of Commerce and President & CEO of Enterprise Florida. “Florida has a valuable economic partnership with the United Kingdom, and we are eager to continue finding opportunities to further build our relationship.”
“Today’s meeting with Foreign Minister Cleverly was an opportunity to express gratitude for the special relationship Florida enjoys with the UK,” said Florida Secretary of State Cord Byrd. “We are proud of the economic and cultural ties we have long shared and look forward to strengthening those bonds into the future.”
Florida and the United Kingdom’s Economic Relationship
The United Kingdom (UK) is one of Florida’s most significant economic partners and Florida ranks among the top American stateS for British businesses and tourists. British companies account for more than 70,000 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 had 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 Brits 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.