TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – This week, Governor Rick Scott will lead an Enterprise Florida trade mission to Santiago, Chile with more than 100 representatives from Florida businesses, higher education institutions, and other organizations to expand investment with Chile and create job opportunities for Florida families. The trade mission includes nearly 20 Florida manufacturers and exporters which will be matched with Chilean importers through the U.S. Embassy’s Gold Key Program. Chile is Florida’s seventh largest trade partner with nearly $7.7 billion in bilateral trade. Florida-origin exports to Chile have expanded by 53% in the last two years, and the state has experienced a two-way trade growth of 262% since the implementation of the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement in January 2004.
Governor Scott said, “Florida is positioned to be the number-one state for international trade. We have a diverse workforce, low taxes and a top-ranked infrastructure. As Florida’s economy continues to grow, trade missions are an important way to strengthen the state’s presence in the global market. I look forward to leading a trade delegation to Chile as we work to make Florida the number one state to live, work and raise a family.”
The trade mission also aims to attract more Chilean cargo through Florida ports. The Port of Panama City is the number one port for Chilean copper and the Miami International Airport is the top entry point for Chilean salmon. International trade moving through the state’s seaports was valued at $85.5 billion in 2012 – including $42.3 billion in imports and $43.2 billion in exports. This number is up nearly 28 percent from 2010. Maritime cargo activities at Florida ports are responsible for generating more than 550,000 direct and indirect jobs and $90 billion in total economic value. These activities contribute $2.2 billion in state and local tax revenues.
Secretary of Commerce and President and CEO of Enterprise Florida Gray Swoope said, “Through our international trade and export assistance programs, Enterprise Florida is helping state businesses expand on a global scale and, ultimately, create more jobs. International missions, like the one to Chile, provide a unique opportunity for Florida companies to establish relationships with international companies. These trips are especially important to our small businesses, which account for the majority of international trade in Florida.”
A Record of Success:International missions have been very successful for Florida, providing a notable return on the state’s investment into business development activities and long-range jobs-producing opportunities. Governor Scott led trade and business development missions to Panama, Canada, Brazil, Israel, Spain, United Kingdom and Colombia. The Governor’s active and innovative approach to promoting international business last year won him an award as the top U.S. governor for foreign direct investment (FDI) strategy from London-basedfDi Magazine.
Governor’s Business Development Mission to Panama
March 17-18, 2011
- The objective of this mission was to assess the opportunities from the Panama Canal Expansion.
- The delegation enhanced Florida’s economic relationship with Panama through strengthened ties between state leaders and the Republic of Panama and Florida seaports with the Panama Canal Authority.
Governor’s Business Development Mission to Canada
Montreal and Toronto
June 6-10, 2011
- The objective of this mission was to promote investment into Florida.
- Governor Scott and Florida economic development organizations participated in 155 foreign direct investment recruitment meetings.
- Governor Scott announced the Canadian security company Garda would relocate its U.S. headquarters to Boca Raton Florida, creating 100 professional jobs, which has been exceeded.
Team Florida Trade and Business Development Mission to Brazil
São Paulo and São Jose dos Campos, Brazil
October 22-27, 2011
- The objective of this mission was to provide Florida companies with an opportunity to increase sales of their products and services.
- 51 Florida companies participated in a two-day Florida expo and matchmaking event with Brazilian businesses. The Florida companies reported more than $96,684,500 in actual and expected future sales.
- Governor Scott announced that Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer would invest $50 million to establish new manufacturing facilities at Melbourne Airport. The project is slated to produce more than 200 jobs over five years.
- Meetings during the mission contributed to the state’s win of a $355 million U.S. Air Force aircraft manufacturing contract with Embraer and partner companies, which will take place in Jacksonville.
Governor’s Business Development Mission to Israel
Tel Aviv, Beersheva and Jerusalem
December 8-15, 2011
- The objective of this mission was to promote investment into Florida and promote Florida as a platform for Israeli companies into the U.S., Latin American and Caribbean market. The Governor met with potential Israeli investors, delivered presentations on Florida business climate to Israeli business organizations and was a speaker in the GLOBES, the leading financial newspaper in Israel, Conference.
- Governor Scott met with six Israeli companies that are investment or expansion prospects for Florida and spoke at the seminar “Florida: Platform for Israeli Companies Doing Business in Latin America and the Caribbean.” The audience included 45 Israeli business executives representing SMEs with an interest in penetrating the Latin American market.
Governor’s Business Development Mission to Spain
May 21-24, 2012
- The objective of this mission was to promote Spanish investment into Florida.
- Governor Scott met Spanish companies interested in investing in Florida and delivered presentations on Florida business climate to several Spanish business organizations.
- The following companies based in Spain will add 465 jobs within three years in Miami-Dade County:
- Obrascon Huarte Lain (OHL USA): One of the world’s largest global construction companies is expanding its presence in the U.S. market by adding a new U.S. South Region headquarters in Northwest Miami-Dade County. Specializing in civil engineering, healthcare and university projects, OHL’s new location will add 255 direct jobs within three years and $22 million in capital investment.
- Miami City Tour (formerly El Grupo Julià): A travel and tourism transportation company will open its first U.S. location in Miami Beach, adding 150 new direct jobs within three years and $4 million in capital investment.
- TotalBank: A leading integrated retail-commercial bank in South Florida and a member of Grupo Banco Popular Español will further expand in Miami-Dade County, adding 10 new branches with 60 direct jobs within three years and $4 million in capital investment. TotalBank is already a leading integrated retail commercial bank in South Florida with more than $2.3 billion in assets and 19 convenient locations throughout Miami-Dade County.
- BBVA: A Spain-based retail bank that entered the Florida marketplace through acquiring Compass bank, has 45 full-service branches in the Jacksonville area along with loan production offices in Orlando and Miami. This bank is expanding in the Miami market by offering domestic private banking and wealth management services. BBVA will add 45 jobs at an average wage of $60,000 annually.
Team Florida Business Development Mission to United Kingdom
London and Farnborough, England
July 7-12, 2012
- The goal of this mission was to promote worldwide investment into Florida and further develop the state’s aviation cluster through access to the aviation and aerospace companies attending the biannual Farnborough Airshow.
- Governor Scott and Enterprise Florida met with more than 40 major aviation and seven Aerospace companies with investment potential in Florida.
- Tradeshow participants reported $41 million in combined actual and expected export sales for the next 24 months and 250 sales leads.
- Following this mission, Governor Scott announced that Pratt & Whitney would create 230 new jobs at an average wage of $81,000 as part of its efforts to establish jet engine manufacturing and test operations in Palm Beach County.
Governor’s Trade Mission to Colombia
December 2-5, 2013
- The objective of this mission was to promote economic development opportunities with Colombia.
- Governor Scott and statewide organizations participated in one-to-one business matchmaker meetings coordinated by Enterprise Florida and U.S. Commercial Service in Bogotá.
- Participating companies reported actual and expected sales in excess of $40 million as a result of the trade mission trip.