Solidifying Florida’s Role in Trade and Logistics

 

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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.

Are Florida’s Infrastructure Systems Ready for 2030?

 

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Join Statewide Leaders at Florida’s Growth & Infrastructure Summit Register Today

How will Florida handle the increase in population that is expected by 2030 and how do we prepare for this growth? Join business and industry leaders from around Florida at the Growth and Infrastructure Summit to discuss these issues and more:

  • Florida’s transportation opportunities,
  • The future of Florida’s Trade & Logistics 2.0 report,
  • Florida Chamber’s Infrastructure Coalition,
  • Autonomous Florida, and
  • Florida’s current and future infrastructure needs.

Florida Chamber Foundation 2018 Growth & Infrastructure Summit
December 11, 2018, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Healthy Life Center at Babcock Ranch
42880 Crescent Loop, Suite 100
Babcock Ranch, FL 33982

Attendees will also take a deeper dive into the Infrastructure and Growth Leadership portion of Florida 2030, the Florida Chamber Foundation’s three-year, multi-million dollar research project- and learn what more than 10,000 Florida leaders said about Florida’s future.

Becoming a Trade Powerhouse

Did you know, that if Florida were a country, we would be the 16th largest economy in the world?

This is a testament to the strength of our economy and the strategic investments that have been made to our workforce and infrastructure, as well as a laser focus on creating a favorable climate for business, something the Florida Chamber works toward each day.

16thLargestEconomyinWorld
Seventeen percent of Florida’s GDP is tied to trade and, as such, has been an important contributor to our economic success. Florida has impressive – enviable even – trade infrastructure. We have invested more than $1 billion in ports and port-related infrastructure and our educational institutions have increased their focus and are offering more programs in trade, logistics and supply chain management. Our manufacturers rank second in export intensity and we are consistently ranked among the top states for exports year after year. Florida has incredible trade relationships around the world and is host to more than 80 foreign consulates and commercial offices. We also rank second in concentration of international bank presence.

Yet we lag behind other states in trade prowess.

So how do we trade more?

In as much as there are many benefits to trade – there are also many obstacles that our small business exporters face. Issues range from understanding rules of origin to leveraging free trade agreements to having greater supply chain visibility… just to name a few.

There is no doubt that trade brings tremendous benefits but it also brings risks. Keeping up with competition and growing the bottom line are important drivers for doing business internationally. Globalization has changed the world in significant ways and having an international strategy is increasingly an important part of a company’s success.

According to the Florida Chamber Foundation’s recent Trade and Logistics Report:

  • Florida is home to one in five of the nation’s exporters.
  • More than 95 percent of exporters are small to medium sized businesses that together produce two thirds of Florida’s total export value.
  • Export-oriented companies typically grow 15 percent faster, pay 15 percent higher wages, and are 12 percent more profitable than firms operating solely in the U.S. market.
  • The workers in Florida’s transportation, trade, and logistics industries who make all this possible earn 30 percent higher wages than the state average.

So how can the Florida Chamber help you?

Engaging in international trade will never be without risk. Managing those risks and leveraging tools for trade success are what has helped many companies be successful internationally.

We want to hear from you as we get ready to prepare new programs and improve on our initiatives this coming year. How can we help you trade more? What obstacles do you face? Email me directly with your thoughts at aancona@flchamber.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

 

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.

Did You Know Florida is the 7th Largest Exporter of State-Origin Products?

The impact Florida’s international relationships have on our economy cannot be denied. As the seventh largest exporter of state-origin products, Florida-origin exports total more than $58.6 billion and exports from Florida supported 275,221 U.S. jobs in 2013.

“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.”

International business and foreign direct investment account for approximately 17 percent of Florida’s economic activity, and directly support more than 1 million Florida jobs. But as our economy grows, Florida must also continue to diversify export destinations- one of the strategies recommended in the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Florida Trade and Logistics Study 2.0.

From the Americas and beyond, Florida is quickly becoming the hub for global trade, especially in emerging markets such as Africa, Latin America and the Middle East- where growth projections remain higher than in developed markets and where purchasing power continues to increase.

The U.S. currently has five free trade agreements in the Middle East region. U.S. free trade agreements have helped expand Florida’s export opportunities. In fact, more than one-third of Florida exports go to countries that have trade agreements with the United States.

When oil exports are excluded, Florida is the number one exporter to Central and South America, with Florida exporting more than $30 billion in goods to that region in 2014.

While Florida’s top trade partners are Brazil and Canada, many emerging countries from several regions make Florida’s top 10 importers list, such as Peru (the site of a recent Enterprise Florida economic development mission trip that was attended by Alice Ancona, Director of Global Outreach for the Florida Chamber of Commerce), United Arab Emirates and Germany.

DYK_Chart_Exporters

As global trade and economic activity expand over the coming decades, international commerce will continue to play a role as an essential driver of Florida’s future. Diversifying Florida’s export destinations is a strategic step in accomplishing this and is outlined in the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Florida Trade and Logistics Study 2.0.

Florida can create a stronger global economy and jobs for future generations through increased investment in ports and infrastructure projects and expanded export manufacturing and value-added services.

The Florida Chamber is committed to connecting Florida’s business community to global opportunities and leveraging resources and investments to maintain and expand Florida’s position as an international trade leader. The International Business Council is launching a new program to support Florida businesses as they explore opportunities to diversify into new export markets. GLOBAL FLORIDA will focus on connecting them to resources, policy initiatives and business intelligence on market trends for four of the major geographic regions of the world: Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe and Middle East/Africa.

Together we can help Florida become the number one hub for global trade. Join the state’s international business community at the Florida Chamber’s International Days – a two-day event where the top international trade and industry experts will convene to discuss topics such as export diversification.

 

Share Your Story:

Can’t make International Days? Tell us your story and why international relationships matter to Florida by contacting Alice Ancona at aancona@flchamber.com.

About the Florida Scorecard:

The Florida Scorecard, located at www.TheFloridaScorecard.com, presents metrics across Florida’s economy. Each month, the Florida Chamber Foundation produces a Scorecard Stat that takes an in-depth look at one aspect of Florida’s economy. If you would like additional information on the Weekly Scorecard Stat or on the Florida Scorecard, please contact Dr. Jerry Parrish with the Florida Chamber Foundation at 850.521.1283.

Florida Chamber Series on Free Enterprise: Bob Grammig on Florida’s Global Economy

Florida is a global economy. In fact, if Florida was a country, it would be the 19th largest economy in the world. According to research from the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Trade and Logistics Study 2.0, the global economy is expected to double in size over the next 20 years, with more than one billion new consumers by 2020.

 

 

For Florida to move in the right direction, we need to focus on the Florida Chamber Foundation’s initiatives to MOVE, MAKE and MULTIPLY.

 

“We need to emphasize (on) moving more trade through our seaports and air gateways,” said Bob Grammig, Partner at Holland & Knight. “We need to have an emphasis on moving more imports directly into Florida and better balancing the inbound and outbound trade flows. Second thing we need to do is make, grow and refine more products for exports from Florida by expanding exports of Florida-originated manufactured goods, agricultural products and other natural resources. And the third thing we need to do is to multiply the impacts of global trade in Florida by providing value added services to trading businesses and our trading partners around the world, by expanding our role as the global hub for visitors, investment and talent.”

 

Building a global economy means opportunities for Florida’s small businesses as well. In fact, 95 percent of our state’s 60,000 exporters are small-to-medium-sized businesses that produce two-thirds of Florida’s total export value.

 

“One of the top things we can do is to continue to identify and elimate legislative and regulatory impediments to international business,” said Grammig. “Big businesses can, in many cases, take care of themselves on this. But for smaller businesses, it’s very helpful to have an organization like the Florida Chamber to help drive necessary changes. The other thing… we want to do is continue to support the Governor’s strategic emphasis on trade and logistics -expansion of our seaports, improvements of our airports- which will facilitate smaller exporters to have access to those international markets. And the last thing is generally, to provide continuing support through trade missions and export promotion activities to various trade partners around the world.”

 

 

Economic trade missions like the upcoming one to Peru, hosted by Enterprise Florida, and events like the upcoming International Days will benefit businesses of all sizes.

 

“Business leaders will hear some top international trade experts and thought leaders when they are there. many people in our state underestimate the scope of our international business,” said Grammig. “There’s more than $60 billion in exports that we do. Small businesses I think will find especially usual to learn about the programs that the Florida Chamber as well as the state federal government have to assist their international efforts.”

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.

Did You Know Florida Exports $1.1 Billion in Goods to Panama?

Did You Know?

From 2008 to 2010, $1.1 billion in Florida goods were exported to Panama? In addition, Florida is home to more than 60,000 exporting companies, meaning one out of every five of the nation’s exporters are located in Florida

The Florida Chamber of Commerce is currently visiting business leaders in Panama to strengthen our trade relationship and further drive our state to becoming the global hub for trade to and from the U.S.

Joined by Florida Secretary of Commerce Gray Swoope, Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Ananth Prasad, and several Florida Chamber partners, we are actively advocating to become a global leader in international trade.

Panama

Representatives from the Florida Chamber and Enterprise Florida tour Gatún Locks at the Panama Canal.

Pictured from left-to-right: Florida Chamber Executive V.P. David Hart, Enterprise Florida V.P. of Trade Development Services Ivan Barrios, Enterprise Florida Senior V.P. of International Trade and Development Manny Mencia, Florida Chamber Director of Global Outreach Alice Ancona and Florida Secretary of Commerce and Enterprise Florida President and CEO Gray Swoope.

With the expansion of the Panama Canal and the Free Trade Agreement, Panama presents Florida companies with tremendous opportunities. Post-Panamax vessels are nearly three times the size as current vessels being used. Florida is poised to have the first port south of Virginia, PortMiami, which can receive the post-Panamax ships that will be coming from Asia through the Canal. Florida’s gateways are better prepared at being able to facilitate the trade relationship between Florida and Panama.

Florida’s 15 deep-water seaports are well-positioned to lead the way to attract new international trade and commerce. Thanks to unprecedented support from the Florida Legislature, our ports can boast state-of-the-art infrastructure investments and increased connectivity from strategic projects such as on-dock rail and intermodal container transfer facilities. These new opportunities are outlined in the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Florida Trade & Logistics 2.0 Study, which offers recommendations that will help fuel Florida’s competitive growth.

But realizing our state’s global potential requires vision.

“As the global marketplace doubles in size over the next 20 years, we ignore the importance of international trade at our own demise,” said Doug Davidson, Market Executive at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Chair of the Florida Chamber’s Trade & Logistics Institute. “We have to continue to shed light on the opportunities, and with leadership from the business community, policy makers, and organizations like the Florida Chamber Foundation through their Florida Trade & Logistics 2.0 Study, we can secure tens of thousands of high-wage jobs and guarantee that our state is globally competitive in 2030 and beyond.”

Team Florida Prepares For Economic Mission Trip to Panama

Global trade is now, more than ever, at the forefront of Florida’s recovering economy. we cannot deny that global trade is big business in Florida. Global trade means high-wage jobs and economic prosperity for Florida. The Sunshine State is home to more than 60,000 firms dedicated to bringing their goods and services to consumers around the globe. International business and foreign direct investment accounts for approximately 17 percent of Florida’s economic activity, and directly supports more than one million Florida jobs.

Solidifying Florida’s position as a global hub for trade is a key strategic initiative of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. Florida has long been an important consumer market and a gateway for trade between the United States and Latin American and Caribbean nations.

With the expansion of the Panama Canal and the Free Trade Agreement, Panama presents Florida companies tremendous opportunities. The Florida Chamber Foundation’s original Trade and Logistics Study (2010), identified the Panama Canal expansion as a seminal moment and called for our state to take advantage of this once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in ports and infrastructure. Governor Rick Scott and the legislature stepped-up with significant investments, and now Florida is poised to have the first port south of Virginia, PortMiami, that can receive the post-Panamax ships that will be coming from Asia through the Canal.

Post-Panamax vessels are nearly three times the size as current vessels being used. Florida’s gateways are better prepared at being able to facilitate the trade relationship between Florida and Panama.

Currently, Panama is one of the strongest economies in Latin America. The country boasts the second fastest growing GDP in the region, expected to reach a 6 percent growth in 2015. Total merchandise trade between Florida and Panama totaled $2.3 billion in 2013 and is expected to grow.

For these reasons, the Florida Chamber of Commerce- lead by Florida Secretary of Commerce Gray Swoope- will be joining partners Port Tampa Bay, Gulf Power, Keiser University, Port Miami, Tampa Hillsborough EDC, Bank of America, St Joe Company, Port Everglades, Tampa International Airport Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Ananth Prasad, and Doug Wheeler of Florida Ports Council on an Export Sales Mission to Panama October 5-7.

The widening of the Panama Canal, together with the growth in Latin American and Caribbean markets, will realign global trade lanes and increase flows through this region in the coming decades.

Today the state of Florida is a global hub for trade. It took decades of innovative efforts, resourcefulness and entrepreneurship from the private sector, strategic investments from the public sector and capitalizing on opportunities like free trade agreements and the expansion of the Panama Canal to claim this title.

Florida’s international relationships are invaluable to our economy. By working to create opportunities with nations like Panama, and fueling massive economic development projects like the Panama Canal expansion and the dredging of PortMiami, we can diversify our own economy and fuel long-term investments by global businesses. Everything we do, we do on a global scale.

Florida’s future prosperity and our growth as a global hub for international trade are inextricably linked. In order for Florida to continue on its mission to be a global hub for trade, the business community must unite and policymakers must remain committed to Florida’s trade future. We hope you will save the date for International Days 2015, April 7-9. Contact aancona@flchamber.com for more information.

Shaking the Title as the State’s ‘Best Kept Secret’

By VALERIE GARMAN | The News Herald

 

MARIANNA — Business leaders from across Northwest Florida gathered in Marianna on Monday to discuss ways to shake the region’s unofficial title as the state’s “best kept secret.”

The need to attract new manufacturing, develop a skilled workforce and better market the area were major themes to come out of the Florida Chamber Foundation’s regional rollout of its statewide Trade and Logistics Study, a strategic transportation plan to grow trade, freight, manufacturing and logistics industries in the state.

Foundation vice president Tony Carvajal presented an overview of the study, noting $20 billion worth of goods transported in and out of Florida each year are not even made in the state.

“If all we want to be is great seaports, airports, if all we want to do is move things on rails and trucks, and all we want to do is be a pass through for the rest of the world … we know how to play that game,” Carvajal said. “If we’re going to grow this state, if we’re going to grow particularly Northwest Florida , this is one of the things we’ve got to focus on.”

The statement was one repeated several times through the half-day event, as several regional transportation and economic development experts took to the stage discuss the day’s themes. Port Panama City Director Wayne Stubbs agreed new manufacturing should be a major focus in the coming years. One of the study’s primary recommendations was to leverage the state’s port investments toward attracting new port-related manufacturers, he said.

“What’s been mentioned is that we need to make more things in Florida , and we’re a believer in that,” Stubbs said. “Supporting the industrial development side of our mission, I think it pays the most bang for its buck.”

At Port Panama City, 2,600 jobs are directly dependent on the port, and another 8,200 are indirectly related. The port’s major manufacturing tenants include Berg Steel Pipe, Oceaneering International and Green Circle Bio Energy.

“I think that’s the future we need to be focused on,” Stubbs said. “A regional port like Panama City is a good testament to that.”

Neal Wade, director of the Bay County Economic Development Alliance, said to compete for manufacturing projects, the area first needs to change its perception as a tourist economy and develop a skilled workforce, something that is becoming increasingly important for companies.

Wade also is part of an effort to lure a major economic development project to a 2,200-acre “mega-site” in Jackson County , with automobile manufacturing poised as the target industry.

However, increased competition with Mexico ’s rapidly growing auto industry has officials instead looking toward original equipment manufacturers, which supply parts to larger automotive companies. Other opportunities could stem from involvement in moving parts between the U.S. and Mexico from Port Panama City.

“I think we’re going to become, in Northwest Florida, the manufacturing center of Florida ,” Wade said.

Ultimately, Carvajal said for every 10 jobs in export-related manufacturing created, 30 more are produced.

“The whole I-10 corridor is a growing part of the trade and logistics story across Florida and across the Southeast; it’s a global game-changer,” he said, calling on the leaders in the room to ensure the region plays a major role in Florida ’s future trade lines. “There’s one phrase I really, really hate about Northwest Florida : ‘it’s the best kept secret.’ If we can get rid of that phrase and never have it spoken in Florida again, I think we’ll make some huge advances.”

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.