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UK and State of North Carolina hold Third Working Group Meeting

UK and North Carolina host the third working group meeting since the signature of the UK / North Carolina Memorandum of Understanding.

On Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024, representatives of the UK and state of North Carolina governments attended the third government-to-government working group meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina. Charlotte continues to register as one of the fastest growing cities in the US and is the country’s second largest banking centre after New York City. This meeting follows the first two convenings in Raleigh, NC (January 2023) and Manchester, UK (June 2023).

Rachel Galloway, Consul General at the British Consulate in Atlanta, co-chaired the meeting with Machelle Baker Sanders, Secretary of Commerce for the state of North Carolina, attended by officials from the respective governments.

Attendees discussed the progress made since the last meeting in June 2023 pointing to the measurable achievements in key focus areas, including:

  • Boosting trade and investment: Cambridge-based Marshall Aerospace is opening a new aircraft maintenance facility and engineering hub at the Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina. The $50 million investment will result in 240 jobs for the local community and is expected to open in 2025. At the ground-breaking ceremony in North Carolina in September 2023, the new home of Marshall USA, Marshall Aerospace credited the official North Carolina-UK relationship, including the MoU, for helping to create the enabling environment for their investment.   
  • Improving access to procurement opportunities: In November, the UK and North Carolina co-chaired a government procurement and commercial opportunities roundtable. North Carolina officials shared insights into how UK companies can best engage in the North Carolina procurement process, including through registering on the state’s procurement information and e-vendor portals, soliciting public records to better understand successful bids, forming partnerships with North Carolina companies with prior success in state procurement, researching legal and IT security requirements in advance of bidding, and seeking opportunities at the local level.

Attendees also considered and identified fresh opportunities to further knowledge exchange and activities to develop all areas of the MoU over the coming six months, including:

  • UK companies and officials will participate in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Clean Tech Summit in March 2024.
  • The UK will send an outbound Motorsport mission to North Carolina in May 2024. This follows on the success of a previous mission in 2023.
  • The UK and North Carolina will hold the next working group meeting to coincide with a delegation of North Carolina officials’ visit to the Farnborough Air Show in July 2024.

The meeting was followed by a business lunch attended by UK and North Carolina business and civic leaders where attendees were invited to get involved on future MoU delivery activity.

Finally, British American Business Council Carolinas hosted a panel discussion on Macro Political and Economic Trends in Trade and Investment as part of their annual general meeting. The panel, comprising of Rachel Galloway, UK Consul General for the Southeastern US; Chris Chung, CEO of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina; and Sally Webb, Non-Executive Director of The Special Event Company, was moderated by Chris William, Executive Producer of the Carolina Business Review. The panel was attended by a cross-section of representatives from the Charlotte business community.

The British American Business Council Carolinas will host the British American Business Network annual transatlantic conference in Charlotte for the first time later this year, acknowledging the increasingly close relationship being developed between the UK and North Carolina as a result of the Memorandum of Understanding between both parties.

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