COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – Governor Henry McMaster on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between South Carolina and the United Kingdom to boost economic development.

McMaster and UK Trade Minister Greg Hands met in Columbia to sign the document and discuss the partnership between South Carolina and the UK, which is South Carolina’s sixth-largest import partner and eighth-largest export partner.

The partnership will focus largely on research and development in the automotive and life sciences sectors.

Hands said that the agreement will help “tackle trade barriers, attract capital investment, and deliver cutting-edge research and development.”

South Carolina, North Carolina, and Indiana are the only three states to sign an MOU with the UK.

McMaster said that the partnership will “further our momentum and provide South Carolina and our businesses with a competitive advantage over other states when competing for economic development and trade with the United Kingdom.”