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July 11, 2008



TALLAHASSEE - Governor Charlie Crist today announced investment in reforestation projects in the Southeastern United States to offset the carbon footprint of the Team Florida Trade and Business Development Mission. The Governor will leave from Miami tomorrow, Saturday, July12, 2008. Governor Crist will lead a group of 94 delegates, business and corporate leaders, and government representatives on the 10-day mission to the United Kingdom, France, Russia and Spain. The group will encourage trade and investment in Florida and its international partners with a focus on climate change, aerospace, aviation and alternative and renewable energy.

"While our relationships with the United Kingdom, France, Russia and Spain are impressive, there is still much ground yet to be gained in several key economic sectors, including alternative and renewable energy" Governor Crist said. "I am proud to continue Florida's focus on climate friendly strategies by investing in reforestation projects that will counteract the carbon emission produced by our travel."

It is estimated that more than 198.28 metric tons of carbon dioxide are expected to be generated from energy use during the trade mission from related travel and lodging. To offset the energy used for the trade mission, Enterprise Florida Inc., in partnership with the non-profit and the State of Florida, has worked to estimate the carbon emissions created. Because carbon emissions have global impact, supporting renewable energy anywhere can compensate for the environmental impact of the trade mission.

About the Team Florida Trade and Business Development 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.

During the Team Florida Trade and Business Development Mission, the Governor will inaugurate the Florida Pavilion at the Farnborough Air Show, one of the largest aerospace and aviation shows in the world, as well as deliver keynote addresses at events hosted by the Atlantic Partnership and Visit Florida Inc. Among other meetings, the Governor will also meet with Robert Tuttle, United States Ambassador to the UK; His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales; The Right Reverend James Jones, the Bishop of Liverpool; and Dr. Kim Howells, Deputy Foreign Minister. A climate change delegation from Florida will also have the opportunity to focus on climate change by meeting with the Carbon Trust, the UK government's official agency on climate change.

Governor Crist will also travel to France, where he will meet with senior government officials and visit a nuclear facility to promote partnerships between Florida and France in the area of alternative energy. France is a world leader in the production of nuclear energy and is Florida's 12th largest trading partner. Bilateral trade reached $3.1 billion in 2007, an increase of 17.9 percent from 2006. Additionally, France is Florida's sixth largest source of FDI, at more than $1.2 billion in 2005.

Following France, Governor Crist will travel to Russia to meet with government and business leaders to promote Florida-Russia economic relations. This visit follows the recently announced United States-Russia Economic Dialogue, ensuring that Florida is well positioned to advance United States-Russia bilateral trade and investment. Two-way trade between Florida and Russia was more than $986 million in 2007.

Lastly, Governor Crist will visit Spain, meeting with government officials and private sector representatives to discuss Florida-Spain trade and investment, and partnerships in alternative energy. Nearly 400 Spanish companies in Florida have invested more than $200 million, and there are more subsidiaries of Spanish companies in Florida than from any country in the world. Two-way trade between Florida and Spain was more than $950 million in 2007. Additionally, between 2009 and 2015, a number of events throughout Florida are being planned to celebrate the long history of Spanish influence in the Sunshine State.

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.