JAXPORT and Aruba Sign Agreement to Grow Business Connections
During today’s JAXPORT Board of Directors meeting, State of Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, Aruba Prime Minister Evelyn Wever-Croes, and other dignitaries from the island of Aruba joined leadership from JAXPORT and Eagle LNG Partners LLC (“Eagle LNG”) to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
The agreement affirms the ongoing efforts by JAXPORT and Aruba to mutually promote business and tourism opportunities between the two regions, share best practices on port operations and environmental sustainability, and explore the potential for trade and business development.
Following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Monetary Fund indicated Aruba was one of the countries worst hit by the pandemic due to the shutdown of tourism. Under the MoU, the ports will work together to examine the potential for new business ties.
The agreement follows a business trip by JAXPORT leadership to Aruba in January. After today’s board meeting, the delegation from Aruba toured JAXPORT’s facilities. On Tuesday, JAXPORT will host a roundtable to connect the delegation with Jacksonville-area customers and business development leaders to further explore collaboration opportunities.
Recently, JAXPORT partner Eagle LNG signed a multi-year agreement with Aruba’s power and water utility company, Utilities Aruba NV, to provide liquefied natural gas (LNG) from their Jacksonville facility for power generation on the island. The LNG will be exported from Jacksonville to an LNG import terminal on the island. The initiative is part of ongoing efforts by the Aruban government to enhance sustainability, reduce fuel costs, and transition to cleaner fuel sources.
Top commodities exported from Florida to Aruba include food, passenger vehicles, electronics, and other consumer goods. Jacksonville and Aruba will examine opportunities to grow this trade.
In addition to Prime Minister Wever-Croes, other members of the visiting Aruban delegation included: Minister of Tourism and Public Health Dangui Oduber, Ministry of Tourism and Public Health Senior Legal Advisor Andin Bikker, Aruba Ports Authority Chairman of the Board David Dubero, and Aruba Ports Authority CEO Marc Figaroa.
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