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July 16, 2008



LONDON - Governor Charlie Crist today met with His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales to discuss strategies for addressing global climate change, particularly reducing the impacts of deforestation. They met at Clarence House in London.

"I am deeply grateful to the Prince of Wales and the United Kingdom for working together with Florida to exchange knowledge and expertise to reduce the harmful effects of greenhouse gases," said Governor Crist. "I look forward to our continued and expanding partnership to learn more about increasing our use of renewable energy and decreasing our carbon emissions."

The Prince of Wales has provided leadership for the United Kingdom to partner in Florida's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and direct a cleaner energy future. During the recent 2008 Florida Summit on Global Climate Change held in Miami last month, the Prince addressed business, government and environmental leaders by video and emphasized the effects of deforestation as the third largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.

At the first Florida Summit on Global Climate Change in 2007, Governor Crist signed a memorandum of understanding partnering with the United Kingdom to discuss and promote initiatives that broaden the Kyoto Protocol and reduce the emission of greenhouse gases beyond 2012. The memorandum provides for the State of Florida to exchange delegations with the United Kingdom to create a forum for sharing public policy experience and exchanging science and technology, placing a particular emphasis on the sharing of ideas and policies related to energy efficiency and renewable energy sources.

About Florida-United Kingdom Relations

Today's meeting is part of the Team Florida Trade and Business Development Mission to the United Kingdom, France, Russia and Spain to encourage trade and investment in Florida and its international partners with a focus on aerospace, aviation and alternative energy. The Governor will hold high-level meetings with other senior government officials and business representatives during the mission.

Florida and the UK enjoy strong economic ties, with two-way merchandise trade valued at $2.8 billion, making the UK Florida's thirteenth largest trading partner. Further, the UK is ranked second in terms of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Florida, totaling $4 billion in 2005. At present, one-third of all British firms in the United States operate in Florida, and about one in five Floridians working for a foreign-affiliated company are employed by a British firm. In total, British-affiliated companies employ more Floridians than companies from any other foreign country, with 335 subsidiaries employing more than 41,000.

In terms of tourism, the United Kingdom is Florida's top overseas tourism market, with 1.34 million United Kingdom arrivals for 2006. On average, travelers from the UK spend nearly two weeks in Florida and $3,196, with 72.5 percent traveling to Orlando, 15.3 percent to Miami and 12.5 percent to the Tampa/St. Petersburg area.

About the Team Florida Trade and Business Development Mission

During the remainder of the United Kingdom portion of the Team Florida Trade and Business Development Mission, the Governor will meet with Minister of State for the Environment Phil Woolas; and participate Visit Florida marketing campaign kick-off. In France, he will meet with senior government officials, visit a nuclear facility to promote partnerships between Florida and France in the area of alternative energy, and visit the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.

Following France, Governor Crist will travel to Russia to meet with government and business leaders to promote Florida-Russia economic relations. Lastly, Governor Crist will visit Spain, meeting with government officials and private sector representatives to discuss Florida-Spain trade and investment, and visit the world's largest photovoltaic solar facility.

Coordinated by Enterprise Florida Inc., the Team Florida delegation includes business and governmental leaders, as well as representatives from economic development organizations and state research institutions. This will be the Governor's third business development mission since taking office in 2007. Most recently, last November the Governor led the largest single-state delegation to Brazil in United States history, which generated more than $300 million in actual and anticipated sales.