On Wednesday 13 January 2021, Sir John Peace and representatives from the Midlands Engine joined Kelly M. Schulz, Secretary of Commerce and the Maryland Department of Commerce to sign an extension to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two countries.
The virtual signing session saw the MOU being extended by three years to continue the prosperous relationship between the two regions. This extension was signed by Sir John Peace, Chair of the Midlands Engine and Kelly Schulz, Maryland Secretary of Commerce.
The initial MOU was signed back in 2017 and was designed to promote economic development, assist cybersecurity companies in Maryland and the Midlands, and draw investments into each region.
Since this agreement, there has been numerous international trade missions between the two countries, building upon an initial mission in 2016 and subsequent missions to 2019. Over this period, the working relationship has expanded into other sectors such as healthcare, life science and advanced manufacturing.
The Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), will lead the work on behalf of the Midlands Engine and have a programme of joint activity based on virtual trade exhibitions and networking events. These will be supported by the Department for International Trade.
Through these missions, cybersecurity & IT businesses from both countries have been able to build and expand their networks, forming important businesses connections which has further enabled their businesses to grow internationally.
Sir John Peace, Chair of the Midlands Engine, said: “The relationship we have reaffirmed today marks a fantastic opportunity for our businesses to interact and plan to collaborate, amplify trade and accelerate the sharing of knowledge both ways across the Atlantic.
“In addition to the statement of friendship we make today, I am delighted to welcome the action plan which accompanies this MoU, including the important opportunities for trade missions both to Maryland and to the Midlands as we build ever stronger business-to-business links between our nations.”
Kelly Schulz, Maryland Commerce Secretary, said: “We’re delighted that Maryland can continue to build on this partnership with the Midlands in the years to come.
“We have already expanded our initial agreement to incorporate the life sciences as well as cybersecurity, and renewing this MOU will support our businesses on both sides of the Atlantic as they increase exports, expand and create new jobs for our citizens.”
Gary Woodman, Chief Executive of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “It was a pleasure to be able to host this virtual extension signing between these two regions, building upon our excellent existing relationship and delivery success.
“Here in Worcestershire, cybersecurity and IT is one of our key sectors and it is important that we continue to build relationships with key geographies across the world to support international trade, whilst providing our local businesses with the information, advice and guidance to develop and grow their business into new markets.”
For more information on the Midlands Engine, visit their website here – https://www.midlandsengine.org/
To learn more about the Maryland Department of Commerce, visit their website here – https://commerce.maryland.gov/