A Historic Beginning
In a historic gathering, the inaugural working group meeting under the UK-Oklahoma Trade Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) took place in Oklahoma City on October 24, 2023. This significant event marked the first step in further strengthening the economic ties between the state of Oklahoma and the United Kingdom.
United in Pursuit of Economic Cooperation
Under the guidance of Richard Hyde, the Consul General for the United Kingdom in Houston, and hosted by Secretary Ken McQueen, Oklahoma’s Secretary of Energy and the Environment, the meeting brought together officials from both governments.
Additionally, representatives from the Scottish and Northern Ireland Devolved Administrations participated, emphasizing the collective pursuit of economic cooperation and trade relations.
Focusing on Growth Opportunities
The discussions in Oklahoma City primarily centered around identifying new avenues for enhancing bilateral trade. These opportunities encompassed clean energy technologies, zero-emissions vehicles, agriculture, and public sector procurement. Notably, UK companies already employ more than 10,000 people in the Sooner State, highlighting the substantial economic ties that exist.
A Strong Economic Foundation
This working group meeting aims to build upon an already robust trading relationship. In 2022, trade between the UK and Oklahoma amounted to an impressive £294 million ($363 million) in goods. The attendees sought to leverage this solid foundation to further boost commercial links between the two regions.
Charting a Course Forward
The working group participants actively identified several key areas for future collaboration. These focal points encompass carbon sequestration and hydrogen fuel innovation, alongside electric vehicle infrastructure and technology, as well as agriculture and government/state procurement.
Importantly, it was mutually agreed that subject matter experts from both sides would take forward detailed discussions, subsequently reporting back in preparation for the next working group meeting.
Involving Industry Experts
The next gathering will incorporate representatives from industry, ensuring that the interests of businesses in both the UK and Oklahoma are addressed comprehensively. This ongoing collaboration aims to not only create opportunities for economic growth but also foster innovation and knowledge exchange, strengthening the ties between these two trading partners.