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July 15, 2008


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LONDON - Governor Charlie Crist today discussed Florida-United Kingdom relations with United Kingdom government leaders, including Secretary of State David Miliband; Simon McDonald, Prime Minister Gordon Brown's chief foreign policy advisor; and John Ashton, special advisor on climate change. Hosted by the Right Reverend James Jones, House of Lords member and Bishop of Liverpool, Governor Crist also met with members of the House of Lords to discuss Florida and UK climate change initiatives.

Today's meetings occurred on the third day of Governor Crist's 10-day 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 United Kingdom is recognized as a worldwide leader in actively addressing global climate change," said Governor Crist. "We are honored to have the opportunity to explore additional ways Florida and the United Kingdom can join together to continue our progress."

About Florida-United Kingdom Relations

One year ago at the 2007 Serve to Preserve Florida Summit on Global Climate Change held in Miami, Governor Crist signed a partnership agreement with the United Kingdom, outlining an agreement that focuses on climate policies and mutual economic benefits.

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 Team Florida Trade and Business Development Mission, Governor Crist will meet with His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales; 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.