Florida Chamber Embarks on Trade Mission to South Korea and Taiwan

Goal is to Enhance Trade Between Florida and These Important Trading Partners

TALLAHASSEE, FL (April 18, 2016) – To strengthen Florida’s competitive edge in the global economy, the Florida Chamber of Commerce this week is participating in an economic trade mission to South Korea and Taiwan – meeting with international leaders to continue growing trade between Florida and these important trading partners.

While there, David Hart, Executive Vice President for the Florida Chamber, will address dignitaries and business leaders and showcase the Florida marketplace. The trade mission is being led by Enterprise Florida, Inc.

According to Alice Ancona, Director of Global Outreach for the Florida Chamber of Commerce, global trade is big business in Florida. That’s because 95 percent of the world’s consumers, who also hold 80 percent of the global purchasing power, are outside the United States.

“International trade allows Florida companies to reach these consumers and helps our state create jobs and economic opportunity, and remain the global hub for trade and logistics. By joining Enterprise Florida on this Export Development Trade Mission, we are able to share why international matters to Florida,” Ancona said.

The Florida Chamber has remained committed to ensuring Free Trade Agreements (FTA) are in place to help create greater economic opportunities, that includes lobbying in Washington, D.C. for the Korea-U.S. FTA of 2012. Currently, Florida exports more than $702 million in commodities to South Korea, and imports $1.9 billion. Florida also enjoys a unique trade relationship with Taiwan that includes exporting $238 million in commodities.

“Building relationships in emerging and growing global economies is an essential tool for Florida to remain competitive,” said Jim Pyburn, Director of Business Development for Port Everglades. “Here in South Korea and Taiwan, we are getting a hands-on look at just how beneficial these relationships can be.”

Florida’s record investments in transportation and infrastructure make it the ideal place to leverage and grow trade and logistics opportunities. Consider the following:

Florida’s freight system moves 740 million tons of freight annually, including international imports and exports, domestic movements to and from other states, and internal shipments within Florida,
Air Cargo generates 36 percent of Florida’s international trade dollars,
Miami International Airport is number one in the U.S. for international freight, and
Four of Florida’s ports are considered the fastest growing in the U.S.: Miami, Palm Beach, Everglades and JAXPORT.

“International Trade is critical to Florida’s global economy, and our freight infrastructure is a key asset in attracting that trade to our state,” said Doug Wheeler, President and CEO of the Florida Ports Council. “Current investments in upgrades and expansions for our state’s ports and freight corridors will ensure that Florida exports can quickly and efficiently get to countries around the world like South Korea and Taiwan.”

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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.

Florida Senate Passes Resolution in Support of Trade Partnerships

In a move to signal Florida’s support of increased trade with Europe, the Florida Senate has passed a resolution that will support the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP), a valuable trade agreement between the United States and European Union.

SB 1776, sponsored by Senator Garrett Richter (R-Naples), supports the negotiations, which if successful, will create the world’s largest free trade zone, accounting for 60 percent of global production.

Free Trade Agreements (FTA) have been a positive force for economic development and Florida has much to gain from these negotiations. In fact, 17 percent of Florida’s economy is dependent on free trade.

We commend Sen. Richter and the Florida Senate for their commitment to making Florida a leader in global trade. The Florida Chamber will continue to keep you up-to-date with the latest news on trade negotiations and opportunities for Florida companies to expand their business abroad.

Learn More About the Impacts of Global Trade in Florida