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2024 has begun with the UK and US as close allies as ever, standing shoulder to shoulder in the face of global crises. These past few months have proven a testament to our shared values, as we remain in lockstep with the US and our allies to respond to the current situation in Israel and Gaza.

Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron, visited Washington in December of 2023 in his first visit in this role as we look ahead to continuing the UK’s long-standing commitment to Ukraine.

Over the last year, 76 UK ministers have travelled coast to coast across the United States, cementing our deep ties at the federal, state and local level across all manner of industries, communities and sectors.

2024 begins with our robust economic and trade relationship continuing to flourish with over $1 trillion invested in one another’s countries, 2.7 million jobs created and trade worth $350 billion a year. Lord Johnson, the UK’s Minister for Investment in the Department of Business and Trade visited DC, Miami and New York in January of 2024 and engaged with BABA members at dinner to further strengthen the close UK-US business partnership.

In November, the Prime Minister hosted the first ever global AI Safety Summit at Bletchley Park, bringing together key countries, technology organisations, academia and civil society to convene on the safe development of frontier AI technology. Vice President Harris and Commerce Secretary Raimondo attended from the US side. 28 attending countries signed the historic Bletchley Agreement, a world first agreement on the need for international collaboration on frontier AI safety.

In November, Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to boost trade and investment between the UK and Florida. Florida has a GDP of nearly $1.5 trillion– the fourth biggest of any US state and roughly the same size as Spain. This marks the seventh MoU the UK has signed with an individual US state--including– Indiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah, Washington, and Florida – with a combined GDP of $4.1tn. The UK is also actively engaging with further states including Texas, California, Colorado, and Illinois.

UK Secretary of State for Transport joined Virgin Atlantic CEO Shai Weiss and Founder Sir Richard Branson on the world’s first 100% sustainable aviation fuel transatlantic flight by a commercial airline, made possible by £1 million of UK government funding. This flight flew from London Heathrow to New York’s JFK airport—marking a crucial step in the UK’s journey to jet zero aviation by 2050.

In November, the Prime Minister convened world leading investors and CEOs for the Global Investment Summit to unveil $36.8 billion of private sector investment across tech, energy, manufacturing and life sciences.

As part of the Prime Minister’s Global Investment Summit, Microsoft committed $3.2 billion as an investment in the UK’s critical AI infrastructure. In January of 2024, Google announced a $1 billion investment in the UK in a new UK data centre, marking a vote of confidence in the UK’s world leading tech sector.

In the DC community in December, British Ambassador to the US Dame Karen Pierce joined Mayor Muriel Bowser to read Paddington Bear to a group of kindergarten through second grade students at Dorothy Height Elementary School. To celebrate Paddington’s 65th anniversary in 2023, the Embassy gifted 2,500 Paddington books to Title One DC Public Schools as part of our collaboration with DC Public Schools and HarperCollins to promote early childhood literacy and Paddington’s much beloved themes of kindness across different cultures.

The Embassy looks ahead to another year of UK-US economic innovation through our collaboration with BABA to foster business growth and partnership on both sides of the Atlantic.

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