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.

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.

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.”