Utah Gov. Spencer J. Cox met with the United Kingdom’s Trade Minister Nigel Huddleston in London on June 22, 2023 to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to boost economic development cooperation and trade relations.

The 11-point MoU aims to foster innovation and connections with each other through business links, academic and research ties, collaborative projects and research ties.

It calls for the creation of a forum to identify and address existing or anticipated barriers to trade, investment and economic co-operation and development.

It also seeks to foster innovation, strengthen business links, support women’s economic empowerment, and encourage investment and the creation of high-quality jobs across all regions of both the United Kingdom and the State of Utah.

It intends to improve supply chain resilience through increased co-operation and support the growth of both the State of Utah and the United Kingdom’s critical mineral sectors through information sharing, increased business links, and R&D partnerships.

And it will grow academic and research ties through promoting collaborative projects, research and information exchange.

“Our MOU with Utah builds on our existing strong relationship and unlocks new opportunities for British businesses, particularly those in the fintech sector in which Britain is a global leader,” said International Trade Minister Nigel Huddleston. “The MOUs we have agreed with U.S. states are already helping U.K. businesses grow their commercial links across the Atlantic.”

Currently, the United Kingdom employs more than 10,700 Utahns. 38,330 Utah jobs are supported by exports to the United Kingdom. In 2022, Utah exports to the U.K. exceeded $7 billion. The U.K. is Utah’s largest trading partner (in terms of exports from Utah to the U.K.).

This agreement marks the fifth arrangement of its kind between the UK and a US state and signifies the growing trade ties between the UK and Utah.

Four other US states have similar agreements with the UK: Indiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Oklahoma.

The this agreement is the first agreement that UK has formalized with a state in the US to prioritize fintech as well as aerospace, supply chain resilience and life sciences.

The full text of the agreement can be found here.

Earlier in the week, Gov. Cox also signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with President Renaud Muselier of France’s Region Sud. The LOI formalizes Utah’s relationship with Region Sud, an area that shares Utah’s leadership in tourism and innovation. The LOI includes establishing a partnership between a natural park in Utah and a natural park in Region Sud to exchange best practices in tourism. Both Utah and France also agreed to explore collaboration in new technologies, innovation, and health care.

MoUs of this type are largely symbolic and aspirational documents establishing and codifying mutual goals and activities to strengthen the relationship and economic ties between a country and, in this case, a US state. They are not legally binding documents nor do they represent documents or treaties established by the US at the federal level.

TechBuzz will follow up and report on activities between Utah-based companies and UK entities that arise as a result of this MoU.

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