Governor Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis’ Trade and Cultural Mission Trip Successfully Elevates Florida’s Ties with Japan, South Korea, Israel, and the United Kingdom

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Last week, Governor Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis led a delegation of state leaders and Florida businesses to Japan, South Korea, Israel, and the United Kingdom on an international trade and cultural mission organized in conjunction with Enterprise Florida and the Florida Department of State. The mission focused on building and expanding economic relationships and delivering jobs, trade agreements, business opportunities, and actionable results for the people of Florida. The Governor was joined by First Lady Casey DeSantis, Florida Secretary of State Cord Byrd, and Florida Secretary of Commerce Laura DiBella. 
Highlighted accomplishments from the international trade mission include:
  • Governor Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis met with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan. The Governor and First Lady advocated for Florida business interests and promoted a greater trade relationship between Florida and Japan. 
  • Governor Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis met with Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi to grow business relationships between Japan and Florida. 
  • Governor Ron DeSantis met with leaders from the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) to establish and expand partnership opportunities.
  • Governor Ron DeSantis hosted a roundtable discussion and meetings with nearly 100 business executives from Keidanren, the Japan Business Federation, to build and expand business relationships. 
  • Governor Ron DeSantis met with executives from All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines to establish new direct flight opportunities between Florida and Japan. 
  • Governor Ron DeSantis met with members of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to build a cooperative partnership between Japan’s and Florida’s space and aerospace industries to enhance Florida’s place in the global space economy. They also advocated for hosting a joint space symposium with Space Florida to coincide with the October 2023 SEUS-Japan Conference in Japan.
  • The Governor championed specific forward-looking economic opportunities such as the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s proposed expansion into both Japan and South Korea.
  • Additionally, the Governor and the trade delegation helped inform Japanese business leaders about the incredible opportunities for growth and investment in areas such as Orlando, Miami, Jacksonville, and Tampa.
  • The Governor and NTT Data, an information technology and consulting company located in Tokyo, established a partnership to provide Florida university students with a one-week internship. NTT Data will host the students at their headquarters in Tokyo, and as part of the internship students will have the opportunity to interact with business executives and learn about a multi-faceted global business.
South Korea
  • Governor Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis met with Prime Minister Han Duck-soo of South Korea to advocate growing the economic relationship between Florida and South Korea. 
  • While commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of the Korean War and 70 years of partnership between South Korea and the United States, Governor Ron DeSantis met with nearly 100 business executives and delivered remarks on Florida’s economic partnership with South Korea.
  • Governor Ron DeSantis signed a Memorandum of Understanding with South Korea-based LowCarbon Hydrogen Corporation to create a research hub for clean hydrogen energy technology in Florida. 
  • Governor DeSantis met with Gyeonggi Province Governor Kim Dong-yeon to reaffirm a sister-state agreement between Florida and the Gyeonggi Province. 
  • Governor Ron DeSantis met with Karl Kim, President of Hyundai Motor Group, and Ho-sung Song, President and CEO of Kia Corporation, to explore opportunities for expanding their footprint in and commerce with Florida, including possibilities for electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft production (eVTOL).
  • Governor Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis met with Israeli President Isaac Herzog to foster the economic relationship and friendship between Israel and Florida.
  • Governor Ron DeSantis met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to express Florida’s continued support for Israel and to discuss expanding cooperation and partnership.
  • Governor Ron DeSantis delivered the keynote address commemorating the 75th anniversary of Israel’s independence at the Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem. In his remarks, Governor DeSantis celebrated the friendship and partnership of Israel and Florida.
  • Governor DeSantis announced a partnership with innovative healthcare company Insightec to expand the Florida Brain State initiative and bring state-of-the-art cancer treatment to Florida. 
  • The State of Florida, the Israel Innovation Authority, and the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce (AmCham Israel) signed a joint declaration to promote greater cooperation, strategic partnerships, and trade and investment between Israel and Florida, with an emphasis on the healthcare industry.
  • Avenger Flight Group, LLC (AFG), a Fort Lauderdale-based company, and EL AL Israel Airlines held a signing ceremony to build a next-generation flight training center in Israel with state-of-the-art simulators provided by AFG. EL AL will train all of its 737 and 787 pilots in that training center, and the Governor also celebrated EL AL’s soon-to-be two direct flights from South Florida to Israel.
  • Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 269 to provide law enforcement agencies with new enforcement mechanisms to punish perpetrators of antisemitic incidents and those who target religious communities. 
  • Governor DeSantis signed a proclamation to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Israel’s independence.
United Kingdom
  • Governor Ron DeSantis met with a roundtable of defense company CEOs to emphasize the defense industry as a priority in Florida for both economic development and national security.
  • Governor Ron DeSantis met with Foreign Minister James Cleverly to enhance Florida’s business relationship with the United Kingdom and promote shared interests between the United Kingdom and Florida. 
  • Governor Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis met with Secretary of State for Business and Trade Kemi Badenoch to explore a joint MOU to foster increased economic cooperation, partnership, and trade between the UK and Florida. The MOU is expected to be finalized in May.
  • Governor Ron DeSantis spoke to a packed room of business leaders at a convening hosted by Lloyd’s of London, encouraging companies to continue investing in Florida as a trade partner.
  • Governor Ron DeSantis and Citizens Property Insurance Corporation President Tim Cerio held a discussion with reinsurance companies in the United Kingdom, where Governor DeSantis promoted the Florida insurance market to bring new carriers and expanded services to Florida homeowners.

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