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.

Trade Leaders to Explain Florida Plan

Florida has ambitious goals to boost its role as a global trade hub, and Broward County will host a free event Nov. 6 to inform businesses about those plans and resources to help accomplish them.

The afternoon session in Dania Beach will feature a presentation of the new “Florida: Made to Trade” plan developed by the Florida Chamber Foundation with the state’s Department of Transportation.

Among its goals: Create 150,000 jobs over five years in trade, transportation, logistics, export-oriented manufacturing and related value-added services; expand Florida’s market share for U.S. trade with Latin America; and double the value of Florida-made exports over the next five years.

The “Doing Business with the World” event is set for 1 to 6 p.m. at the Design Center of the Americas, 1855 Griffin Road.

The presentation by Florida Assistant Secretary of Transportation Richard Biter on state goals and logistics plans is set for 1:30 p.m.

An expo follows from 4 to 6 p.m. featuring representatives from South Florida consulates of numerous nations and from bi-national chambers of commerce such as the Colombian-American Chamber.

To register, contact Paola Isaac Baraya at pisaac@broward.org or 954-357-7894.

For the report, visit  “Florida: Made for Trade.”

Florida now has about 60,000 companies that export at least one product, accounting for one in five exporters in the country, the report said. One way to expand Florida trade would be for each exporter to expand their focus to more countries, the study suggests.

Florida Chamber Outlines Economic Strategies

By KRISTIE CLOUD / FLORIDAN

At a Monday morning seminar in Marianna, the Florida Chamber Foundation talked about strategies that the organization believes are necessary to make this region of the state a hot spot for manufacturing and other job-creating businesses that could “stop the bleeding” as North Florida watches its young people take their talents elsewhere in search of lucrative jobs. They’re trying to make the region a formidable contender on a global economic scale.

The group is taking its message across this sector of the state in a number of seminars like the one held in Marianna. Highlighting some of the observations put forth in “Florida: Made for Trade,” the organization’s Northwest Florida Trade and Logistics Plan, Foundation Executive Vice President Tony Carajal moderated the event.

The goal, Carajal said, is to get North Florida ready to be a key player in the global marketplace, right along with California, Texas, New York, South Florida and other places that more often draw the attention of the auto industry and other job-rich businesses.

One of the necessary strategies in making that happen, he said, is for economic leaders and the general population to start thinking regionally rather than more selfishly about the specific community they occupy when they think about trying to spur growth. Working together rather than against each other could give the area a better shot at landing a business that could translate into jobs for many communities, not just the one place that a big industry might land.

North Florida counties should also build such relationships across state lines, he said, with those in lower Alabama, for instance.

One speaker, Neil Wade of the Bay Economic Development Alliance, provided an example of how that might pay off one day for Jackson and surrounding areas. A big announcement will be formally made on Oct. 3 that Florida officials and their counterparts in Alabama have worked together to all support marketing a property in Campbellton as a “super site” candidate to large businesses looking for a place to set up shop. The announcement will be made in a ceremony at the Florida Welcome Center on U.S. 231 with Jackson County officials and some from Alabama and other Florida counties in attendance.

The auto industry might be one of business-types courted. With officials from both sides of the state line supporting the site, they won’t be competing as a potential site. However, they’ll be free to rigorously compete for businesses that might spring up as a result of the industry moving into town.

A new work has been coined for the concept: Those who espouse it call the strategy a spirit of “co-opertition,” or cooperative competition.

Trying to get industries here is just part of the battle; the region must immediately start building its own new-age manufacturing workforce at the elementary, high-school and college level if the communities hope to catch and hold the serious interest of the companies they want to see moving in. That means tailoring some curriculum tracks to the disciplines that give students a head start on landing such jobs, and give businesses confidence that there’s a workforce waiting in the wings if they were to set up shop.

Trade, logistics and export-oriented manufacturing concerns are some of the target-types the Foundation is after.

The organization wants to develop a Florida Trade and Logistics Institute to continue the state’s quest to move into a stronger position in the global economy. Such a group might help keep track of infrastructure needs as they develop, work out strategies in specific industry-seeing situations, and help keep an overall eye on the many facets that play into the state’s economic goals.