Florida Chamber’s International Days Focuses on Making Florida More Competitive

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CONTACT: Edie Ousley, 850-521-1231 or 850-251-6261
eousley@flchamber.com

Global Economic Opportunities Takes Center Stage

TALLAHASSEE, FL. (April 8, 2015) – International businesses leaders joined forces today at the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s International Days to focus on making Florida more competitive through global economic opportunities. Leaders from Shanghai to Canada, representatives from Fortune 500 companies and Florida’s 15 deep water seaports, the state’s leading economic development and transportation agencies are taking part in the state’s premier international event.

Global trade is big business in Florida. International business and foreign direct investments accounts for about 17 percent of Florida’s economic activity and supports more than one million Florida jobs. Florida is also home to more than 60,000 firms dedicated to bringing their goods and services to consumers around the globe – many of them small to medium sized businesses.

“It’s Florida’s time because we are in the right position, we have the right culture, we have the right infrastructure,” said Lee Sandler, chair of the Florida Chamber’s International Business Council. “So Florida, and Floridian companies, are really in a position to take advantage of the global economy in ways we didn’t have available before.”

In Florida, global trade means high-wage jobs and economic prosperity. According to a recent Florida Chamber Foundation Did You Know, Florida is the seventh largest exporter of state-origin products.

“Florida has come a long way in building international economic development efforts, but our work is far from over,” said Doug Davidson, Market Executive of Global Commercial Banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “At Bank of America, we support the Florida Chamber Foundation’s research in trade and logistics because we know that Florida’s future lies in being globally competitive.

Lt. Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera and Secretary of Commerce Bill Johnson kicked-off the two-day event, and additional speakers will include Secretary of Transportation Jim Boxold, along with keynote speakers: Fredrik Eliasson, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, CSX Transportation, and John Murphy, Senior Vice President for International Policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

A complete line up of panels and speakers is located here.

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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 Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.

BofA, SocGen Slash Forecast for Brazil’s 2014 Growth

(Reuters) – Economists at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Societe Generale on Friday slashed their forecasts for Brazil’s economic growth this year, the latest of a series of revisions highlighting mounting pessimism about Latin America’s largest economy.

BofA economists David Beker and Ana Madeira expect Brazil to grow just 0.7 percent this year, down from a previous estimate of 1.6 percent, as low business and consumer confidence hampers government efforts to jumpstart the economy.

Societe Generale’s Dev Ashish trimmed his forecast to 1.1 percent from 1.7 percent, saying that weak industrial and trade data dashed hopes of a positive second quarter.

Both revisions were published in research reports on Friday.

The consensus view for Brazil’s 2014 growth in a Reuters poll on Thursday was at 1.1 percent.

BofA also trimmed its forecast for Brazil’s 2015 growth to 1.5 percent from 2 percent.

Brazil, once one of the most dynamic of emerging economies, could be in a recession already as factories start to cut jobs, according to some analysts.

But even as the economy falters, both BofA and Societe Generale reiterated that interest rates would probably go up next year as inflation remains high. Both teams expect the benchmark Selic rate to end 2015 at 12 percent, up from 11 percent currently.

Brazil’s sluggish economy could be decisive in the upcoming October presidential elections, in which President Dilma Rousseff will seek another four-year term. Support for her has slipped in the last two weeks, and she is statistically tied with her main challenger in a possible second-round runoff, a poll released on Thursday showed. (Reporting by Silvio Cascione; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)