Sec. Bill Johnson Discusses Peru, Marketing FL and Partnerships on Bottom Line

By: Florida Chamber of Commerce

In Florida, global trade means high-wage jobs and economic prosperity. Florida is home to more than 60,000 firms dedicated to bringing their goods and services to consumers around the globe. International business and foreign direct investment accounts for approximately 17 percent of Florida’s economic activity, and directly supports more than 1 million Florida jobs.

In fact, this month, the Florida Chamber’s Director of Global Outreach, Alice Ancona, joined Secretary of Commerce Bill Johnson, Lieutenant-Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera and more than 80 Florida businesses on an economic development mission to Peru- Florida’s 9th largest trading partner. According to Secretary Johnson, so far, direct hard sales are at $27 million from the Peru trip.

“What we emphasized down in Lima, Peru and to our friends in Peru is that Florida is in the center of the hemisphere,” said Secretary of Commerce Bill Johnson.  “And Florida can provide you the opportunity for your company, for your business, whether you are importing or exporting- Florida can save you time and money. Florida should be your logistics center for everything you do.”

While Florida is quickly building a reputation as the global hub for international trade, we can do more to marketing Florida’s business friendly climate in the U.S. California, a state that has ranked as one of the worst business climates in the nation for the past 11 years, spends $50 million per year on out-of-state marketing. New York, home to the most expensive city in the nation, is in the middle of a $200 million ad campaign that promotes New York’s business climate as a place to start and grow your business.

“One of the most important things I hope to accomplish as the new CEO of Enterprise Florida is to gain the support of the Florida legislature in this area of marketing,” said Secretary Johnson. “I’m thankful to the Florida Chamber for the support, and our business community for the support, in really asking the legislature to allow us to work together to mount an intelligent campaign, to let not just Floridians know, but the United States and globally know, that Florida is the place to do business.”

To Secretary Johnson, moving Florida in the right direction means strategic partnerships that will help create jobs.

“The Florida Chamber without question is the best chamber in the United States- top leadership. I had the honor to serve on the Board of the [Florida] Chamber of Commerce for six years. I know the power of what the Florida Chamber of Commerce does and what it can do. Clearly, the Florida Chamber was instrumental in the creation, many years back, of Enterprise Florida. And today, as we continue to grow the economy and the number of jobs in our state, the Florida Chamber is one of the most important partner of ours at EFI. I am fortunate as the new CEO of this organization to have the support of Mark Wilson and the whole team of professionals here at the Florida Chamber. I cannot stress the importance of that strategic alliance and working together- that’s how we will grow Florida, that’s how we will strengthen this economy, that’s how we, together, will grow jobs in the state– through partnerships.”