Global Trade Dinner: Register Today, Seating Limited

Uniting To Grow Florida Into a Top 10 Global Economy

To grow Florida into a top 10 economy, we must strengthen Florida’s position as a global trade leader, and ensure Florida’s exports in goods double and exports in services triple by 2030. The Florida Chamber’s Global Florida Dinner is uniting Florida’s business community for good, and connecting free enterprise and free trade to help enhance the prosperity of all Floridians while building on Florida’s competitiveness as a global hub for trade.

Register today and join international stakeholders from across Florida for a dynamic evening focused on strengthening Florida’s role in global trade and investment. This premier event precedes the annual Florida Transportation, Growth and Infrastructure Summit slated for December 5. Want to attend both? Click here for details.

Florida Chamber of Commerce Annual Global Florida Dinner
December 4, 2019 – 6:30 p.m.
The Diplomat Beach Resort, 3555 S. Ocean Drive – Hollywood, Florida

Featured Speakers

Laurel M. Lee
Secretary of State
State of Florida
Bob Grammig
Florida Chamber International Business Committee Chair & Partner, Holland & Knight

Solidifying Florida’s Role in Trade and Logistics

 

Download One Pager    International Program

 

Why It Matters to Florida

If Florida were a country, we would have the 17th largest economy in the world. Florida is not just competing with other states, we are competing with other countries. This speaks to the need to continuing to focus on diversifying our economy and markets of opportunity is an important strategy for success and continued growth. Florida is well positioned to not only benefit from international trade but play a pivotal role in new and emerging trade lanes. Eighty percent of the world’s purchasing power, 90 percent of economic growth, and 95 percent of consumers will live outside of U.S. borders. By 2030:

  • The volume of global goods trade and the value of services trade is expected to nearly double.
  • The world’s population will increase to 8.4 billion.

Florida’s GDP is fueled by trade. Florida is the seventh-largest export state in the U.S., with $52 billion in exports originating from Florida in 2016. Exporting is big business in Florida – 60,000 Florida companies export and we have the second highest concentration of exporters behind California. Economic development in areas such as international trade, sea port, manufacturing, aerospace, aviation and other targeted clusters is tied directly to innovation, diversification and how well Florida can adapt to growing and changing trends.

Florida’s Competitiveness Agenda

According to the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Trade and Logistics 2.0 Report, Florida can create more than 150,000 high-wage jobs by growing manufacturing, exports and trade and logistics. In order to take advantage of changing trade routes, a historic expansion of the Panama Canal, and targeted infrastructure investments, we must continue to leverage and grow opportunities.

Strengthening Florida’s rapidly growing manufacturing industry will be the key to ensuring a robust global future. The Florida Chamber supports initiatives that encourage growth in the manufacturing, trade and logistics industries as well as assist Florida companies be more competitive and have greater access in the global marketplace. The Florida Chamber will also continue to support strategic investments in our trade infrastructure, work to build a “talent supply chain” for trade, logistics and manufacturing workers and ensure an ongoing strategic presence in Washington, D.C. – advocating and positioning Florida for a leadership role at the federal level.

The Fight for Free Enterprise Continues

In order to become the number one state in the nation for innovation and economic development, we must continue to attract and retain high-skilled talent, target growing industries and continue to work toward the recommendations set forth in the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Trade and Logistics 2.0 report.

Act Now

Learn how you can become involved in the Florida Chamber’s International efforts by contacting Alice Ancona and Dan Tapia. or visit www.FloridaChamber.com/InternationalProgram.

Local Entrepreneur Brings “Magic” Back to Miami Apparel Industry

Entrepreneur Jason Prescott believes in the future of Miami — so much so, that the Los Angeles native packed up his family last year and moved to the city, where he launched Florida’s first ever international apparel and textile trade show. In so doing, Prescott’s company, JP Communications — publishers of leading online B2B global trade platforms, which connect resellers to wholesalers and manufacturers, TopTenWholesale.com and Manufacturer.com — is helping to revive Miami’s apparel and textile industry, once a key production center.

With a $2 million investment infusion for the show — called Apparel Textile Sourcing Miami (ATSM), the largest apparel and textile sourcing show in the Southern U.S. — Prescott’s group has awarded dozens of projects to local contractors and attracted hundreds of Chinese and other global enterprises to do business in the Magic City while boosting local tourism in the process.

The inaugural ATSM show – held in May 2018 at the Mana Wynwood Convention Center – was an unequivocal success, attracting more than 2,000 attendees from 41 countries and close to 200 exhibitors from dozens of regions who came to showcase their latest products and trends that were discovered by sourcing professionals, retailers, brands, designers and entrepreneurs.

The show drew support from dozens of local business leaders and organizations including: Moishe Mana of Mana Wynwood; City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez; Miami Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez; Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness; Miami Dade County Commissioners Jose “Pepe” Diaz and Audrey M. Edmonson; Dr. Shanjie Li, Executive Chief Economist and CEO of American Da Tang Group; the Greater Miami Convention and Visitor’s Bureau; the Broward County Office of Economic and Small Business Development; the Port of Miami; the City of North Miami; Port Everglades; Florida East Coast Railway; the Fashion Business Association of America; Fashion Group International; Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau; Miami-Dade Beacon Council; the City of North Miami; Enterprise Florida and Miami International University.

“We at ATSM are grateful for the support of all our international partners and local community and business partners in South Florida, each of whom have been instrumental in helping make the event a success and with whom we look forward to growing further this year,” Prescott said.

Now, Prescott and his team – with expanding offices in Aventura – are gearing up for the second edition of the show. On May 28-30th 2019, apparel industry professionals from the US and Latin America in various buying/selling roles throughout the B2B and B2C supply chain will converge at the Mana Wynwood Conference Center.

What began last year has now doubled in size offering wider variety of vendors to discover, additional product categories, service providers, and world-class seminar speaker roster. The event is now surpassing preregistration expectations and will welcome 4000+ private sector visitors and government representatives. Furthermore, the dates of ATSM 2019 also coincide with Miami Fashion Week. This will result in 12,000+ industry professionals throughout apparel and textile supply chain in the US and Latin America to be present in the city at one time and become the single largest collection of fashion events in the region.

ATSM 2019 — supported by the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Apparel and Textiles (CCCT), the largest textile and apparel trade agency in the world — will present three days of networking, seminars and fashion shows, connecting Southeastern U.S., the Americas and the Caribbean to the production world of raw materials and full-package garment suppliers. New for 2019 will be a U.S. providers and producers pavilion, and conference sessions will provide valuable guidance for U.S. companies on reshoring, near-sourcing, technology, sustainability and complex trade issues. Other notable regions expanding their presence at ATSM 2019 include: Turkey, Bangladesh, India, Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia and more.

This year’s show will expand to host more than 300 international and domestic manufacturing companies exhibiting a wide range of products and process solutions in the field of manufacturing and sourcing services. Visitors profiles will represent 40+ countries that are expected to attend, including hundreds of Chinese business owners looking to invest in Florida.

South Florida has become an incubation hub for start-ups and SMEs as brands, technologies, and several other business types. Those in attendance to the show will interact with representatives from Floridian agencies including the Miami Beacon Council, Enterprise Florida, several local and state Chambers of Commerce, and trade offices that help import or export products and services.

“This is an unprecedented opportunity for buyers in the U.S. and Latin America to discover some of the world’s leading textile and readymade garment manufacturers through a single annual event as well as learn from government officials and industry executives through seminars and panel discussions,” Prescott explained.

“Top global buyers are expected to attend ATSM 2019 to source, connect and develop lasting relationships with qualified international and domestic suppliers,” he said, citing as examples notable buyers from companies such as Perry Ellis, Zara, Gap Inc., Kate Spade, HSN, Chico’s, Macy’s, Disney, Zumba, Fountainbleau, Hard Rock, Royal Caribbean, Levi’s and Westgate Resorts.

South Florida is now recognized as one of the world’s leading fashion capitals with industry anchors and contribution from Miami Fashion Week, the SwimShow, Istituto Marangoni, Miami International University, Florida International University, and other local agencies. With the presence of Apparel Textile Sourcing Miami, businesses throughout the supply chain now have an entire ecosystem in one city where they can source or supply depending on the events where they exhibit and attend.

ATSM is one of three events by JP Communications. The company also produces sister shows in Toronto (Apparel Textile SourcingCanada) and Berlin, Germany (Apparel Textile Sourcing Germany).

For more information, to discuss partnering and sponsorship opportunities, or to register for the show, visit www.appareltextilesourcing.com.

Helping Florida Grow, One Trade Mission at a Time

Author: Mark A. Trowbridge, President & CEO, Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce

 

Having just returned from the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s first-ever mission trip to Ireland and the UK, I am both energized and optimistic about what lies ahead for Florida’s local chambers of commerce and fellow delegates. These outbound mission trips are incredible opportunities to build business, and in our case, make vital connections with potential partners and collaborators.

With a diverse cross-section of business leaders— led by the Florida Chamber’s International Chair and past Chairman of the Florida Chamber Eric Silagy, CEO of Florida Power and Light— the Florida Chamber’s Business Development and Trade Mission proved to be a terrific chance to form bonds that I am confident will pay dividends far beyond this one-week mission. Education policy leaders, university officials, tourism professionals, banking executives, aviation leaders, small business owners, as well as the Coral Gables Chamber, gathered to create a resource team dedicated to selling Florida as the best place for business. Whether in Ireland or the UK, the energy was palpable and our team was on hand to answer the simple question: Why Florida?

The Florida Chamber Foundation’s The Florida Scorecard, tells us that more than 348,800 Floridians are employed by foreign companies, and a good majority are employed by companies in both Ireland and the UK. With booming economies and tech scenes that are getting noticed globally for companies like Capstone and Cloudbanter, now is the right time to talk about foreign direct investment in Florida.

While in Limerick, two Irish companies committed to opening in Jacksonville, Florida and our own Bank of America announced its intention to move its E.U. headquarters to Dublin. We also met with a Dublin-based scale-up, Pointy, who is working with local retailers to share their product inventories online to assist consumers in easier product procurement.  Now, that is purchasing power! They are interested in the US and we’ve committed to connecting further and making introductions to a great Florida company—Publix Supermarkets.

Before heading to London, we ended our stay in Ireland by hosting a reception with the new Mayor of Dublin, Lord Mayor Nial Ring (now, that’s a great title!). He proved to be a great ambassador for this amazing city and was eager to meet our delegation to share the state of the business climate in Dublin and in Ireland.

In London, the conversation shifted to talks of Brexit, which consumed the airwaves on every “telly” and became the focus of many meetings. Clearly, uncertainty has caused some concern for the local governing officials, but business was brisk in the capital city. The Coral Gables Chamber has always enjoyed a special relationship with our partners in the UK, but this takes on an even more significant meaning in an era of growth and opportunity.

Florida remains of great interest to companies in the UK, and in meeting with London and Partners, an economic development agency with offices in NY, Chicago, LA and San Francisco, we made the strong pitch for investments in Florida—specifically, Miami.

Meeting with companies who have an interest in Florida can be both exhilarating and daunting.  Whether it be through one on one meetings, group briefings, or even in social settings like the reception we co-hosted with VISIT Florida, Enterprise Florida and Leadership Florida at The Shard, you must be ready to make your “pitch” at any moment. Florida’s future is always on our minds and this mission helped us hone in.

With the Tower of London and Tower Bridge as a backdrop, we were reminded of not only the history of our two great economies, but the inter-dependence of our common goals that are focused and poised for growth.

With many thanks to the Florida Chamber, our organization stands at the ready to welcome these new companies to Florida and we will roll-out the red carpet as a local chamber to help them invest their capital, hire our amazing talent and make Florida their forever home.

 

Mark A. Trowbridge, President & CEO, Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce

Florida Chamber’s First Business Development & Trade Mission Focuses on Strengthening International Ties with Ireland & UK

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Dec. 3, 2018) — The Florida Chamber of Commerce today gathered business leaders, board members and free trade advocates in Dublin, Ireland for the first day of the Florida Chamber’s Business Development and Trade Mission to Ireland and the United Kingdom.

This week-long trade mission was designed to provide participants the opportunity to meet with potential customers and partners who will build understanding and export capability in two very dynamic markets. Through seminars and events hosted by our overseas partners, the Florida Chamber is one step closer to ensuring Florida remains competitive in a global marketplace.

The Florida Chamber has a long-standing history of supporting free trade, expanding international trade and investment opportunities for Florida’s business community, advocating for fair and equitable market access for Florida-origin exports abroad, and eliminating barriers that are harmful to Florida’s competitiveness as a global hub for trade.

“In order to build on Florida’s success as a global hub for trade, we must continue to forge linkages and strategic partnerships to ensure that Florida’s workforce is the most competitive in the world,” said Alice Ancona, Director of International Strategy and Policy, Florida Chamber of Commerce. “Globalization of talent is an important bridge guaranteeing Florida’s competitiveness.”

Highlights of the Week Include Meetings With:

  • Barry O’Sullivan, President of the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland for 2018; Global Manufacturing Lead – Contact Lenses, Johnson & Johnson Vision
  • Lord Mayor Nial Ring, Dublin City Council
  • The U.S. Embassy in London
  • Florida State University London Study Center Campus

 

# # #

 

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.

Registration Now Open: Global Florida Dinner

 

Register    International Program     Trade Mission

 

Register today for the Florida Chamber’s 2019 Legislative Fly-In and Global Florida Dinner, and join international stakeholders from across the state, as well as members of the Consular Corp and foreign trade offices for a dynamic discussion on how to maintain and expand Florida’s position as an international trade leader.

 

Solidifying Florida’s Role in Trade and Logistics

 

Download One Pager    Learn More Our International Program    Trade & Logistics 2.0 Report

 

Why It Matters to Florida

If Florida were a country, we would have the 16th largest economy in the world. Florida is not just competing with other states, we are competing with other countries. This speaks to the need to continuing to focus on diversifying our economy and markets of opportunity is an important strategy for success and continued growth. Florida is well positioned to not only benefit from international trade but play a pivotal role in new and emerging trade lanes. Eighty percent of the world’s purchasing power, 90 percent of economic growth, and 95 percent of consumers will live outside of U.S. borders. By 2030:

  • The volume of global goods trade and the value of services trade is expected to nearly double.
  • The world’s population will increase to 8.4 billion.

Florida’s GDP is fueled by trade. Florida is the seventh-largest export state in the U.S., with $52 billion in exports originating from Florida in 2016. Exporting is big business in Florida – 60,000 Florida companies export and we have the second highest concentration of exporters behind California. Economic development in areas such as international trade, sea port, manufacturing, aerospace, aviation and other targeted clusters is tied directly to innovation, diversification and how well Florida can adapt to growing and changing trends.

Florida’s Competitiveness Agenda

According to the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Trade and Logistics 2.0 Report, Florida can create more than 150,000 high-wage jobs by growing manufacturing, exports and trade and logistics. In order to take advantage of changing trade routes, a historic expansion of the Panama Canal, and targeted infrastructure investments, we must continue to leverage and grow opportunities.

Strengthening Florida’s rapidly growing manufacturing industry will be the key to ensuring a robust global future. The Florida Chamber supports initiatives that encourage growth in the manufacturing, trade and logistics industries as well as assist Florida companies be more competitive and have greater access in the global marketplace. The Florida Chamber will also continue to support strategic investments in our trade infrastructure, work to build a “talent supply chain” for trade, logistics and manufacturing workers and ensure an ongoing strategic presence in Washington, D.C. – advocating and positioning Florida for a leadership role at the federal level.

The Fight for Free Enterprise Continues

In order to become the number one state in the nation for innovation and economic development, we must continue to attract and retain high-skilled talent, target growing industries and continue to work toward the recommendations set forth in the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Trade and Logistics 2.0 Report.

Act Now

Learn how you can become involved in the Florida Chamber’s International efforts by contacting Alice Ancona at aancona@flchamber.com and Dan Tapia at dtapia@flchamber.com or visit www.FloridaChamber.com/InternationalProgram.

Did You Know the Florida Chamber Issues Certificates of Free Sale?

Certificates of Free Sale, sometimes referred to as a “Certificate of Export,” are required by some foreign governments as evidence that a product was manufactured in, packaged or distributed from Florida freely and without restriction and was approved by U.S. regulatory authorities.

Products Covered by a Certificate of Free Sale Include:

  • General manufactured goods,
  • Machinery or equipment,
  • Commercially prepared food items,
  • Cosmetics and medical devices.

If you are an exporter and are in need of a Certificate of Free Sale, click here to pay exporter service fees or download our application. Contact the Florida Chamber’s Miami International Trade Office at international@flchamber.com to learn more about how a Certificate of Free Sale can help your business expand into the international marketplace.

The Florida Chamber Kicks Off World Trade Month

Every year, May is recognized as World Trade Month, and many people across the nation take this time to recognize the importance of international trade as a major contributor to job creation through events and awareness campaigns. Here at the Florida Chamber, every month is World Trade Month. We recognize that if we want to continue to create high-wage jobs, we need to support the Florida companies and farmers that make and grow more products for exports, we need to move more imports and exports through Florida’s seaports and airports, and we need to multiply the impacts of trade to provide more opportunities and access to global markets.

I recently returned from a successful trade mission to Argentina led by Governor Rick Scott. Argentina has always been a strong trade partner for Florida, and its economy, under a new presidential administration, has undergone significant positive reforms which are not only transforming the country’s economic landscape but are also presenting new and exciting opportunities for Florida exporters.

Read a letter from Gov. Scott to President Trump highlighting the success of the mission.

A crucial component of Florida’s growth is tied to our strength as a global hub for trade. Florida is not only at the crossroads of hemispheric trade – which geographically positions us to capture north/south trade flows – it is also home to more than 60,000 exporters ( second only to California) and state-of-the-art investments in trade infrastructure. If there was a ever a state was Made for Trade, it’s Florida.

Ensuring that we grow and expand opportunities for Floridians is central to the fight for Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber stands ready to help Florida companies expand trade opportunities and support efforts to attract foreign direct investment, as well as continuing to advance a competitiveness agenda that fosters pro-growth policies such as international trade initiatives.

Get Involved

For more information on joining the Florida Chamber’s international efforts or becoming a member of the Florida Chamber, please contact Alice Ancona. While you’re at it, don’t forget to register for the Florida Chamber’s Florida International Trade and Investment Conference, scheduled for Aug. 9 in Orlando.

How Well is Florida Exporting?

 

2.5 million jobs.

That is the number of jobs supported by international trade in Florida. Florida has the third largest trade-related workforce (behind California and Texas respectively) in the country.

According to research from the Florida Chamber’s most recent Trade and Logistics Report and the U.S. International Trade Commission, jobs in export-focused industries like manufacturing and services pay more. In fact, our Trade and Logistics Report also shows export-orienting companies typically grow 15 percent faster, pay 15 percent higher wages and are 12 percent more profitable than domestically focused firms.

Free and Fair Trade

Open markets lead to lower prices and greater prosperity. With 95 percent of the world’s consumers outside of the U.S., Florida’s small business exporters depend on trade deals to help grow their businesses and create jobs. So far, this formula has worked- 37 percent of Florida’s exports are to countries we have a free trade agreement with.

There has also been a:

  • 46 percent increase in Florida exports to Peru since the U.S.-Peru Trade Agreement was implemented in 2009.
  • 188 percent increase in Florida exports to Chile since the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement implemented in 2004.
  • 199 percent increase in exports to Canada and Mexico since NAFTA took effect in 1994.

Creating New Opportunities

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, which were finalized earlier this year, would create one of the largest free-trade zones involving 12 Pacific nations that represent nearly 40 percent of the world’s GDP.

Ports across the state have geared up to prepare for growing Asian trade that could come through the recently expanded Panama Canal. While the canal and port investments are the pathway to greater trade between Florida and Asia, the TPP is the bridge that will truly connect us and help make Florida businesses more competitive in new markets.

 

These discussions and more will be a key part of the conversation at the Florida Chamber’s 2017 International Days, Feb. 14 and 15 in Tallahassee. Be sure to join us by registering today!

Bright Spots in Trade: Central America

If you have been reading recent global economic news, you will see headline after headline about negative trade growth.  But there are a few bright spots and one such spot is Central America.

According to the World Bank – Central America is poised for an expansion of 3.8 percent.

What has helped Central America have been the same factors that have hurt much of the rest of Latin America, which is projected to experience slower growth rates. Central American economies are very much tied to the U.S. economy and have little in the form of trade or dependency on China. The strong U.S. market has been a positive boon for the region. In the case of Panama – the expanded Panama Canal and the significant investments it has made in logistics and trade infrastructure have proven to be significant catalysts. They currently boast a 2.5 percent unemployment rate.

There are new recent developments and initiatives which are positioning Central America for even stronger growth. Early this month, South Korea and Central America (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama) concluded their 5th round of trade talks and expect to accelerate their negotiations to finalize the agreement sooner than later. South Korea is the 4th largest economy in Asia and has been increasing its trade and investment with Latin American in the past few years.

Honduras has also been taking steps to improve their economy. They have received recognition from both the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank for their positive steps toward reform and growth. Honduras has recently launched the “Honduras 20/20” National Development Plan to generate 600,000 jobs during a five-year period (2016 – 2020), by promoting four key sectors where Honduras has a strong competitive advantage: tourism, textiles, intermediate manufacturing and business process outsourcing (BPOs).

Central America is one of Florida’s most important trading partners. Honduras is Florida’s 9th ranked merchandise trade partner and Costa Rica (7), Panama (8) and Honduras (9) are leading export destinations for Florida merchandise exports. Florida’s merchandise exports to Panama have grown 13 percent year to date.

Solidifying Florida’s Role in Trade and Logistics

> DOWNLOAD Our International One Pager

As Florida becomes the third most populous state in the nation and with an estimated six million new residents settling in our state by 2030, our state has to find new solutions that help, not only the way we view resources, but the way we run international business.

The global economy is expected to double in size throughout the next 20 years. One billion new consumers will enter the middle class by 2020, with two thirds living in emerging markets. By 2030, the world’s population will increase to 8.4 billion, 80 percent of the world’s purchasing power, 90 percent of economic growth, and 95 percent of consumers will live outside of U.S. borders.

Continuing to focus on diversifying our economy and markets of opportunity is an important strategy for success and continued growth. Free trade agreements adopted and under consideration create new business opportunities and have opened Florida to new markets. Florida is well positioned to not only benefit from international trade but play a pivotal role in new and emerging trade lanes.

Economic development in areas such as international trade, sea port, manufacturing, aerospace, aviation and other targeted clusters is tied directly to innovation, diversification and how well Florida can adapt to growing and changing trends.

According to the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Trade and Logistics 2.0 Report, Florida can create more than 150,000 high-wage jobs by growing manufacturing, exports and trade and logistics. In order to take advantage of changing trade routes, a historic expansion of the Panama Canal, and targeted infrastructure investments, we must continue to leverage and grow opportunities.

Strengthening Florida’s rapidly growing manufacturing industry will be the key to ensuring a robust global future. The Florida Chamber will support increasing Enterprise Florida’s budget for international trade and marketing activities and will continue to support initiatives that encourage growth in the manufacturing, trade and logistics industries.

The Florida Chamber will also continue to support strategic investments in our trade infrastructure, work to build a “talent supply chain” for trade, logistics and manufacturing workers and ensure an ongoing strategic presence in Washington, D.C. – advocating and positioning Florida for a leadership role at the federal level.

In order to become the number one state in the nation for innovation and economic development, we must continue to attract and retain high-skilled talent, target growing industries and continue to work toward the recommendations set forth in the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Trade and Logistics 2.0 report.

Learn how you can become involved in the Florida Chamber’s International efforts by contacting Alice Ancona or visit www.FloridaChamber.com/InternationalProgram.

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

Latin American Hang Over

It’s Groundhog Day for Brazil. As if 2015 was not bad enough, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other forecasters have downgraded its economic forecast for Brazil for 2016.

To recap 2015: Brazil fell deep into the longest running recession since the 1930s, coupled by the Petrobras Investigation and high unemployment. Brazil’s economy also shrank 3.8 percent last year, according to the IMF.

IMF now believes Brazil’s economy will shrink 3.5 percent this year, down significantly from its previous estimate of a one percent contraction. Others had predicted minimal growth have also revised down their estimates.

Venezuela is expected to face a catastrophic economic contraction of 4.8 percent in 2016.

Other Latin American countries are in for another tough year as their economies struggle with weak Chinese demand for their raw materials.

Per Enterprise Florida, Total Merchandise Trade by Country through September 2015 ranks our top 10 markets as follows:

 

  1. Brazil
  2. China
  3. Colombia
  4. Chile
  5. Japan
  6. Dominican Republic
  7. Mexico
  8. Honduras
  9. Peru
  10. Venezuela

 

In 2016, Chile is forecast to grow 2.4 percent, Peru 3.5 percent, and Colombia 2.6 percent. Colombia is in a much more fragile position than a year ago, more vulnerable to external shocks.

What This Means For Florida:

Many of our top trading partners will be experiencing a challenging 2016, yet there are some bright spots in Latin America: Mexico and Argentina.

Mexico’s growth has picked up to the fastest in two years in the third-quarter while inflation fell to a record low, helped by government efforts to spur competition. Mexico’s growth remained unchanged at 2.8 percent. In Argentina, optimism remains high with since they elected a new President. Argentina was the only Latin American country have its growth outlook revised higher. It is Florida 11th largest trading partner.

While the Latin American down turn is dominated by the Brazilian recession, opportunities remain. Enterprise Florida will be taking a trade mission to Mexico May 23, 2016 – May 26, 2016 and is planning a future trade mission to Argentina. Latin American still remains a significant market for Florida. While the downturn will have an impact on overall trade number and affect our exports, Florida still has nuggets to mine.

What to Expect From Emerging Markets

India has ousted China as the emerging market with the most growth potential, according to Agility’s latest Emerging Markets Logistic Index.

The top 5 ranking positions for Market Connectedness with ports and infrastructure are:

  1. UAE
  2. Malaysia
  3. China
  4. Chile
  5. Saudi Arabia

The report also covers “Markets on the Move,” “Trade Lanes,” and an “Outlook and Overview.” Findings highlighted concern of volatility in the global economy and were reflected in eight of the top 10 emerging markets shifting positions.  China still remains at the top of the Logistics Index despite, economic concerns.  The Asian trade lanes are highlighted as the most promising for growth.

Among the top 10, countries that are taking steps to diversity and embark on economic and business climate reforms are UAE, India, and Malaysia.

What This Means For Florida:

As Florida strive to improve our connectivity and access to other markets, we should be mindful of opportunities that non-traditional markets bring.  Emerging markets are still ripe for growth in the coming decades but diversifying our trading partners is essential to stay ahead of the game.

The Florida Chamber has long advocated for policies that call for strategic investments in international economic development.  From continuing our support of Enterprise Florida export capacity building grants for small businesses and opening and supporting our foreign offices, to investing in a marketing campaign to promote the state globally – all are strategies that where highlighted in the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Trade and Logistics Studies and continue to be part of the Florida Business Agenda.