First Lady Abbott, Secretary Nelson Tout Texas’ Robust Economic Ties With United Kingdom In London

July 12, 2023 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

First Lady Cecilia Abbott and Texas Secretary of State Jane Nelson yesterday met with business leaders and dignitaries to highlight Texas’ strong economic ties with the United Kingdom while in London. Joined by Texas Economic Development and Tourism Executive Director Adriana Cruz, this is the second stop in the economic development mission led by the First Lady and Secretary Nelson.

The First Lady, Secretary Nelson, Executive Director Cruz, and members of the Texas delegation first met with executives from Drax, the United Kingdom’s largest renewable power company. The company plans to open a location in Houston next month to serve as the North American headquarters for Drax’s Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage projects across the United States and Canada. First Lady Abbott also presented Drax executives with a Texas flag and proclamation in recognition of the company's expansion in Texas.

First Lady Abbott, Secretary Nelson, and Executive Director Cruz then joined the rest of the delegation of Texas business and community partners for a meeting with executives of the United Kingdom’s Octopus Energy, which employs 4,000 people across 15 countries and has its U.S. corporate headquarters in Houston. Following a tour of Octopus’ offices and lunch with company leaders, the First Lady presented a Texas flag and proclamation celebrating the company's significant operations in Texas. 

Following the meetings with key economic leaders, the First Lady, Secretary Nelson, Executive Director Cruz, and members of the Texas delegation sat down with Minister of State at the Department for Business and Trade Nigel Huddleston MP to discuss the strong economic partnership between Texas and the United Kingdom and ways to further strengthen the relationship. First Lady Abbott, Secretary Nelson, Executive Director Cruz, and the Texas delegation also met with U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom Jane Hartley, who expressed strong support of the delegation's visit and discussed the vast economic opportunities available in Texas.

In the evening, the First Lady, Secretary Nelson, and Executive Director Cruz attended a reception hosted by the Texas Economic Development Corporation in conjunction with the U.S. Embassy in London and the Institute of Directors (IoD) for about 100 leading companies in the United Kingdom. In her remarks before attendees from business, government, and members of the IoD, First Lady Abbott emphasized the strong economic ties between the United Kingdom and Texas. In 2022, Texas trade with the United Kingdom totaled $21.2 billion, and the United Kingdom has more foreign direct investment projects in Texas than any other country.

The trip is sponsored and paid for by the Texas Economic Development Corporation, an independently funded and operated 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization responsible for marketing and promoting Texas as a premier business location. Along with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and Tourism, these two organizations make up the cornerstone of Governor Abbott’s economic development agenda to build the Texas of tomorrow.