On Monday, Dec. 11, 2023, representatives of the U.K. and state of Utah governments attended the inaugural government-to-government working group meeting created by the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on economic cooperation and trade relations in Salt Lake City.
Emily Cloke, Consul General at the British Consulate in Los Angeles, chaired the meeting hosted by Deidre Henderson, lieutenant governor of Utah, and Ryan Starks, executive director of the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity, with officials from the respective governments and participation from the Scottish, Welsh, and Northern Irish devolved administrations.
As part of the working group, a series of breakout sessions enabled in-depth discussions on academic collaboration and workforce development, identifying new opportunities in the life sciences and aerospace sectors, and public sector procurement. Participants used the working group to jointly plan activities that will further strengthen commercial links between the U.K. and Utah and build on a strong trading relationship worth $7.45 billion in goods trade in 2022.
The working group committed to further knowledge exchange and activities to develop all areas of the MOU, including:
- Utah will send an official-level delegation to the U.K. to attend the 2024 Farnborough Air Show in July with the purpose of exploring additional opportunities for collaboration with the U.K.’s aerospace sector.
- Utah will consider sending delegations to other events in the U.K. that could further strengthen the Utah-U.K. trade relationship.
- U.K. will deliver a trade mission to Utah in 2024-25.
- U.K. will establish ‘trade corridors’ that pair Utah with regions in the U.K. that share similar economic priorities.
- Utah and U.K. will work together to increase partnership with transportation and procurement leaders to foster knowledge exchange around infrastructure opportunities in the U.K. and Utah.
- Utah and U.K. will hold educational sessions, including roundtables and webinars on procurement, Utah infrastructure opportunities, life sciences, AI policy, working with the U.K.’s Ministry of Defence, mapping supply chain challenges and opportunities, and how businesses can seize the opportunities afforded by the MOU in the U.K. and Utah.
- Utah and U.K. will have follow-up discussions involving subject experts to discuss the MOU’s other priority themes, including supporting women’s economic empowerment, critical minerals, supply chain, and environmental conservation.
A follow-up working group meeting in 2024 will involve representatives from industry as part of the continued work to deliver for businesses in the U.K. and Utah.