The UK has today signed its first state-level trade and economic development Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indiana.

The MoU creates a framework for talks to remove barriers to trade and investment, paving the way for UK and Indiana-based businesses to invest, export, expand and create jobs.

The UK is the seventh largest export market for Indiana, and the state buys $1.4 billion worth of goods from the UK.

In Indiana, international trade minister Ranil Jayawardena said: “It’s been fantastic to see the depth and breadth of interest from Indiana industry in trading with the United Kingdom.

“With the signing of this MoU, British businesses can capitalise on the great opportunities for collaboration in areas like innovation and manufacturing.

He said the memorandum will aim to “help talented people from the UK and US to cross the pond for work by paving the way for their professional qualifications to be recognised on both sides.”

International trade minister Penny Mordaunt expanded on the potential of the deal to act as a “major milestone for UK-US trade relations and I’m so excited for UK businesses, who can now start reaping the rewards of closer ties with Indiana.

“Our state-level strategy is paying off and this is just the first of many agreements we’ll be signing in the future as we look to bolster our £200bn trading relationship with the US,” she went on.

The government stresses that green trade will be at the heart of talks as both sides look to accelerate clean tech development, with a particular focus on electric cars and low emissions technology solutions.

Minister Mordaunt continues to engage with other US states, and hopes to sign more MoUs this year.

Dave Lawler, Chairman and President, bp America, said: “bp is excited to see the strengthening relationship between the United Kingdom and Indiana – two places we call home. Today’s agreement signals continued momentum to support the long-term competitiveness and decarbonisation of the industrial sector in the US Midwest.”