Earlier this week, Gov. Mike Parson concluded his latest international trade mission, which included visits with key officials, businesses and organizations in the United Kingdom and Ireland. During the trade mission, Parson participated in several meetings to build international relationships while promoting Missouri as an ideal business location and trade partner.
“It’s always exciting to highlight Missouri’s strengths, and this trade mission was a tremendous success in showing international partners what the Show-Me State has to offer,” Parson said. “Missouri has significant cultural and economic connections to the United Kingdom and Ireland, and we appreciated the opportunity to strengthen our relationships. Missouri is an ideal business location, and this mission allowed us to further promote our state’s advantages to global business leaders.”
Trade Mission Highlights - United Kingdom and Ireland
Parson met with the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs’ Global Ireland team to discuss Missouri and Ireland’s common industries and priorities, in addition to ways the state can partner with Ireland on an ongoing basis to support Missouri companies in Ireland and Irish companies in Missouri. Ireland is a key trade partner for Missouri with more than $130 million in exports in 2021.
Churchill War Rooms
Parson was honored to visit the Imperial War Museums' Churchill Museum and present Senior Curator Nigel Steel with an admission ticket to former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s famous “Iron Curtain” speech, delivered in Fulton, Missouri, in 1946. The gift serves as a token of the special relationship and kindred mission shared by the Churchill War Rooms in London and America’s National Churchill Museum at Westminster College in Fulton.
Parson met with Brian McNamara, CEO of GSK Consumer Healthcare, and Bart Darde, Global Head of Quality and Supply Chain of GSK Consumer Healthcare. GSK, a global healthcare company based in the United Kingdom, is the maker of Tums tablets, which have been produced in St. Louis for more than 90 years.
Parson met with Frederick Dutrenit, Senior Vice President of Reckitt Benckiser Group, a multinational consumer goods company headquartered in Slough, England, and the makers of Lysol. The meeting included members of the Reckitt senior team, who discussed the company’s presence in Missouri and potential for future investment in the state. Reckitt leadership also discussed issues impacting their Missouri employees and expressed interest in Missouri’s workforce training and apprenticeship programs.
Parson promoted Missouri’s economic strengths at a roundtable hosted by BritishAmerican Business. The discussion included representatives of 14 companies evaluating expansion into the United States or who are already employing Missourians. BritishAmerican Business is a corporate network dedicated to promoting economic development for U.K. and U.S. companies with transatlantic business interests.
Agri-TechE and the National Institute of Agricultural Botany
Parson took part in an ag-tech roundtable discussion hosted in Cambridge, United Kingdom, and met with members of Agri-TechE, an organization focused on the productivity, profitability, and sustainability of agriculture. The meeting was hosted by NIAB, a crop science organization. Parson and Department of Agriculture Director Chris Chinn met with Agri-TechE members to discuss innovation in agriculture and agtech, Missouri’s proficiency in the industry, and opportunities for future cooperation.
The Trade Mission was funded by the Hawthorn Foundation, a Missouri nonprofit organization.
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