SelectFlorida and Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Jason Weida Lead International Trade and Business Development Leadership Mission to Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands

Dec 13, 2023

Tallahassee, Florida.
— Recently, SelectFlorida, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) and FloridaCommerce visited Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands as part of a trade and business development leadership mission focused on technology and health care. The mission was led by SelectFlorida and AHCA Secretary Jason C. Weida to generate export opportunities for Florida companies, meet with leaders in the health care industry, highlight Florida’s competitive edge in targeted industries and showcase Florida as a leading hub for international business owners looking to expand their operations. 

"Our trade mission to Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands opened new opportunities to collaborate with European industry leaders, strengthening Florida’s position on the global stage," said Deputy Secretary of Economic Development and President of SelectFlorida, TJ Villamil. "Many businesses have already recognized Florida's thriving life science industry and this mission only solidified our future growth potential."

“This trade mission was a critical step towards advancing health care integration and building partnerships with European companies that can help improve health care in Florida,” said AHCA Secretary Jason C. Weida. “We are confident these partnerships will create more opportunities for businesses to join our high-quality health care system and establish state-of-the-art care.”

Florida’s 1.5 trillion-dollar economy is the 14th largest in the world—bigger than those of The Netherlands or Mexico, and about the same size as Spain’s economy. Home to more than 22 million residents, Florida is now the 3rd most populous U.S. state, with one of the fastest growing economies. This vast, dynamic market offers tremendous business opportunities for European companies. 

Trade and Business Development Leadership Mission Highlights:

The Florida delegation participated in MEDICA, the world’s largest medical trade fair, where a total of 5,233 companies exhibited for more than 81,000 healthcare professionals. Secretary Weida lead the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Florida Pavilion – 24 Florida companies exhibited in the Florida Pavilion generating an estimated $103 million in total export sales.


Germany and Florida maintain a close economic relationship with more than 200 companies from German-speaking markets operating subsidiaries in Florida and $5.3 billion in total bilateral merchandise trade in 2022 – making it Florida’s 2nd largest bilateral merchandise trade partner in the European Union and 12th largest partner globally.

Additionally, Florida delegates met with representatives from Plug & Play Stuttgart located at Startup Autobahn for an insightful exchange centered on technology and innovation, including the recent announcement of the Plug & Play NeoCity location in Florida, scheduled for launch in January 2024.

In Munich, SelectFlorida hosted a Florida activation event in partnership with the U.S. Commercial Service to promote Florida as a Foreign Direct Investment destination to more than 30 multi-industry leaders and multiplier organizations. Delegates also met with leadership from Klinikum Rechts De Isar, the leading university hospital in Munich, to explore potential collaborations between hospitals, universities and the healthcare industry in Munich and Florida.


Florida and Belgium have a longstanding economic partnership with substantial commercial exchange across a range of industries including life sciences and aerospace and aviation. In 2022, bilateral merchandise trade between Belgium and Florida totaled more than $678 million – Florida’s 8th largest bilateral merchandise trade partner in the European Union.  

In Leuven, delegates toured and met with leadership from Health House – a center of expertise in the future of healthcare. Delegates discussed the growing impact of technology on the future of healthcare, exploring the integration of new practices and technologies. The delegation also met with leadership from the Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC), which is an innovation hub and leader in nano-electronics and digital technologies with its sole U.S. location in Florida.  Representatives discussed Florida’s semiconductor industry and IMEC’s presence in the state following Governor DeSantis’ announcement awarding more than $28 million to expand Florida’s semiconductor and chip manufacturing industries.

In Brussels, the delegation toured BeCentral, a tech hub backed by more than 60 investors that hosts digital schools, startups and non-governmental organizations in an entrepreneurial ecosystem. Delegates also met with AGORIA  –  the largest federation in Belgium focused on technology companies from the manufacturing industry and digital and telecom sectors. AGORIA is planning to visit Florida in December 2023 with several Belgian companies interested in better understanding how Florida is surpassing California as the new tech hub of the Americas.


The Netherlands and Florida have a close economic partnership across a range of business sectors and a multitude of scientific and cultural ties. In 2022, bilateral merchandise trade between Florida and the Netherlands increased by 13.6 percent, totaling more than $1.8 billion. 

SelectFlorida collaborated with the European-American Chamber of Commerce in Amsterdam to host an event promoting Florida to more than 50 foreign direct investment prospects and multiplier organizations. SelectFlorida also hosted a protocol roundtable with local dignitaries to discuss strengthening the commercial ties between Florida and the Netherlands.

Additionally, Florida leadership delegates attended the METSTRADE Show – the largest trade show of marine equipment, materials and systems in the world. 39 Florida companies exhibited, generating an estimated $60 million in export sales reports. Delegates also met with several Dutch maritime companies to reinforce Florida’s maritime opportunities.

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