On March 27, 2023 Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, Aruba Prime Minister Evelyn Wever-Croes, and other dignitaries from the island of Aruba, JAXPORT, and Eagle LNG Partners LLC (“Eagle LNG”) met to further discuss plans for mutual business/tourism promotion between Jacksonville and Aruba.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed, highlighting plans for sharing port operations while strategizing trade and business development and boosting environmental sustainability.
“I am honored to have been part of this historic event to strengthen the trade relationship between the State of Florida and Aruba,” said State of Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis in a press release. “Our ports sustain Florida’s exponential growth and the trade agreement signed today is a clear example of how we are keeping Florida’s fiscal health fixed on the future.”
Inspiration for the new trade agreement comes after the COVID pandemic, as Aruba’s economy was devastated due to the tourism sector being completely shutdown.
“Aruba is in recuperation after the pandemic. We do not only want to bounce back, but also bounce forward to become stronger and more resilient,” Aruba Prime Minister Evelyn Wever-Croes stated in the press release. “This MoU is a cornerstone of economic growth for Aruba.”
Already, a multi-year contract has been signed by JAXPORT partner Eagle LNG and Aruba’s power and water utility company, Utilities Aruba NV, to begin shipping liquefied natural gas (LNG) to improve power generation on Aruba. This agreement exemplifies the Aruban government’s bid to expand sustainable practices on the island, transition to cleaner fuel sources, and reduce fuel costs.
Furthermore, both parties will continue to look at potential trade opportunities in other industries that include food, passenger vehicles, consumer goods, and electronics.
“One of the keys to JAXPORT’s success has been our diverse mix of trade lanes and business lines,” JAXPORT CEO Eric Green stated in the press release. “JAXPORT’s efficiencies and LNG capabilities provide options for continued economic growth for Aruba and Florida. We look forward to growing this partnership and the jobs and economic impact it supports for both communities.”
You can read the original full report here.