Florida Chamber of Commerce Signs MOU With Israeli Chambers of Commerce to Strengthen Trade and Investment Partnerships Between Florida and Israel

By: Edie Ousley

Tel Aviv, Israel (May 29, 2019) — Building on Florida’s once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform Florida’s economy into a global hub for trade, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce and the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) promoting greater cooperation, strategic partnerships, and trade and investment between Israel and Florida.

The MOU was signed during the Governor’s Business Development Mission to Israel – Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, with Governor Ron DeSantis joining Florida Chamber President and CEO Mark Wilson for the signing ceremony.

“Florida and Israel have a long history of strong cooperation in key economic sectors, and by signing an MOU with our Israeli Chamber partners, small businesses in Florida and Israel stand to gain stronger economic benefits through strategic trade and investment partnerships,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

Governor Ron DeSantis said, “Israel and the United States, especially Florida, have a sound economic bond that we are working to strengthen even further while on this historic business development mission. Whether it be increased investment between our two nations, more options for commercial flights for our residents, or the exchanging of innovative technological advancements, we are always looking for ways to build on our relationship.”

INTERNATIONAL TRADE FACTS:

  • In 2018, trade was responsible for $147. 8 billion of Florida’s GDP.
  • Trade impacts 1 in 5 Florida jobs.
  • There are 58,000 Florida exporters, and over 90 percent are small businesses.
  • Florida currently exports many different types of products to Israel, including:
    • Aircraft parts,
    • Electric machinery,
    • Medical devices and more.

“Trade missions are effective investments in future trade and are an important way for Florida companies to develop relationships with prospective trade partners,” said Dr. Jerry Parrish, Chief Economist at the Florida Chamber Foundation. “Companies that want to expand their exports often find that investing in relationship building leads to more success in finding trading partners and markets.”

Additionally, building a global economy also means opportunities for Florida’s businesses to feel the benefits of the millions of visitors to Florida yearly. In fact, Miami International Airport services three weekly flights from Israel since 2017, with an estimated 40,000-60,000 Israelis visiting Florida every year, contributing to the already diversified economy and adding to Florida’s sense of culture and place. El Al Israel Airlines also announced this year that they will be servicing weekly flights to Orlando for the summer months.

“Small businesses in Florida and Israel share the same entrepreneurial spirit to think globally for growth,” said Michael Myhre, CEO of the Florida Small Business Development Center Network. “Forging strategic partnerships and relationships such as these will connect our global minded entrepreneurs and innovators creating new opportunities for economic growth and prosperity for our small businesses.”

Just prior to departing on the Governor’s Business Development Mission to Israel, the Florida Chamber led a delegation of business leaders to Washington, D.C. as part of World Trade Month, and while there, held Florida-Israel briefings with:

  • Yifat Alon-Perel, Minister of Economic and Trade Affairs, Embassy of Israel
  • Karina Rubinstein, Director of Business Development, Startup Division, Israel Innovation Authority
  • Josh Kram, Senior Director, Middle East Affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

# # #

Established in 1916 as Florida’s first statewide business advocacy organization, the Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Florida Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.