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DeSantis plans trade mission to Asia, Mid-East, UK

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Gov. Ron DeSantis will lead an international trade mission aimed at enhancing Florida’s economic relationships with Japan, South Korea, Israel, and the UK. Details of the overseas trip were announced by the Governor’s Office on April 20.

“Florida has the 15th largest economy in the world,” DeSantis said in announcing the mission. “This trade mission will give us the opportunity to strengthen economic relationships and continue to demonstrate Florida’s position as an economic leader.”

In Japan, DeSantis, First Lady Casey DeSantis, and Florida’s Secretary of Commerce Laura DiBella will meet with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, and business executives from that country.

With holdings of more than $5.2 billion, Japan is currently Florida’s 6th largest foreign investor. More than 22,000 Florida residents are employed by more than 200 Japan-based companies here.

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In South Korea, the delegation, which also includes Florida Secretary of State Cord Byrd, will meet with Prime Minister Han Duck-soo and Gyeonggi Province Governor Kim Dong-yeon.

That country is Florida’s 7th bilateral trading partner in the Asia and Middle East region, with South Korea importing more than $341.6 million from Florida in 2022, while Florida imported more than $951 million in goods from South Korea in 2022.

In Israel, DeSantis will deliver the keynote address at an event commemorating the 75th anniversary of that country’s founding. While in Israel, DeSantis will meet with various companies, including NSIGHTEC, 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. Israel is the state’s 19th largest foreign investor, and more than 2,400 Floridians are employed by more than 50 Israeli companies.

Finally, in the UK, DeSantis and the Florida delegation will meet with British Foreign Minister James Cleverly and others.

Currently, the UK is Florida’s 8th largest trading partner, with $5.8 billion in bilateral trade in 2022. British companies represent 67,000 jobs in the state.

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