Canada and Florida: A Strong and Growing Economic Partnership

Canada and Florida are natural partners, perfectly complementing each other in so many different ways. For decades, resource-rich Canada has been supplying Florida’s booming economy and population with the prerequisites to sustain this strong growth, as well as with cutting-edge technologies and financial capital. And as both a hotbed of innovation and North America’s gateway to Latin America and the Caribbean, subtropical Florida has for the longest time been a favorite destination for Canadians eager to capitalize on Florida’s opportunities – for business, leisure, or both! From energy to building materials to food to telecoms equipment, Canadian firms have built a strong presence in Florida across a wide variety of industries. In fact, Canada remains Florida’s #1 global economic partner, according to this economic impact study, prepared for the Consulate General of Canada in Miami. As global leaders in developing the technologies of tomorrow, both Canada and Florida have been eagerly nurturing their bilateral links, which has resulted in some stellar examples of collaboration across a wide variety of fields. Private-sector businesses, universities, regional and local governments, and non-profit organizations have all been working steadfastly towards developing networks of partnerships that will bring ever closer the already intertwined economies of Canada and Florida. Beyond just their commercial links, Canada and Florida share long-standing ties in culture, language (Quebec has North America’s largest francophone community, Florida the second largest), tourism (including Canadian “snowbirds” who reside in Florida part of the year), sports, and a variety of other areas. All of these linkages reinforce each other, contributing to a deeper mutual familiarity and understanding between Canadians and Floridians, while also facilitating the conduct of business.

Canadian Investment in Florida:
Given the vast size of Florida’s local market and the ease of access it offers companies wishing to businesses throughout the Americas, it is not surprising that many Canadian firms have found it beneficial to locate in the state. In fact, Canada is Florida’s fourth largest international investor, accounting for almost a tenth of Florida’s total worldwide inward stock of foreign direct investment. There are currently close to 300 Canadian companies (select Canada from the Country of Origin menu to see the list of companies) with a presence in Florida, operating throughout the state and in virtually every sector of Florida’s economy. In fact, some Canadian firms have become such household names in Florida that most Floridians would not even think of them as being “foreign” (a distinction in any case diminishing in importance in the ever-more-integrated global economy of the 21st century). The largest Canadian investment was in the following Florida industries: manufacturing; construction; real estate rental and leasing; the information sector; finance and insurance; professional, scientific and technical services; and transportation and warehousing. Canadian majority-owned firms employed significant numbers of Floridians in the fields of transportation, construction, health care, financial services, and retail trade.

Canadian Exports to Florida:
Canada’s total merchandise exports to the Florida market have grown by about one-half over the past three years, and are now valued at about US$5 billion annually. Goods made in Canada are purchased both by Florida businesses, and by the private households of Florida’s 18 million consumers. In addition to consumer goods, many Canadian products shipped to Florida are intermediate production inputs (such as components and accessories) for Florida’s leading industries such as aerospace, information technology, and medical device manufacturers.

Top Canadian exports to Florida include various wood, forestry, and paper products, furniture, processed food, industrial machinery, motor vehicles, aerospace products and parts, maritime vessels and pleasure craft, medical devices and pharmaceuticals, telecommunications equipment, miscellaneous IT products and components, and petroleum derivatives.

Canadian Imports from Florida:
Canadian imports from Florida have grown by over 50% over the past decade, and today Canada ranks third only to Venezuela and Brazil as the world’s largest market for goods made in Florida. Canadian businesses and consumers import some $3-4 billion worth of Florida-origin goods each year, across a wide variety of industries.

The top Canadian imports from Florida include IT products, aerospace products and parts, medical devices and equipment, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, electronic components, telecommunications equipment, fruits and vegetables (including orange juice), packaged foods, motor vehicle parts, ships and boats, metal products, and nursery plants. Given the high degree of integration among Canadian and Florida firms, the prospects for further growth are excellent.No other site in the Western Hemisphere can match Florida’s unique combination of strategic geographic location, state-of-the-art infrastructure, multilingual workforce, and concentration of corporate and financial resources. From Florida, companies can do business globally, both virtually and in the real world.

International Business Facts About Florida:
Florida is a major gateway for merchandise trade between North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, and other world regions. In 2012, goods valued at US$162 billion entered or exited the United States through Florida’s two U.S. Customs Districts. (U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Division)

  • The value of merchandise flowing into and out of the United States via Florida’s two U.S. customs districts has increased by 135% over the past decade. (U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Division)
  • Florida is home to 58,310 exporting companies—second only to California. One out of every five, or 20%, of the nation’s companies that export are located in Florida. (U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Division)
  • Florida ranks 6th in the nation in state-origin exports (i.e. those actually produced or with significant value-added in the state), which reached US$66.4 billion in 2012. (U.S. Census Bureau)
  • Florida ranks 3rd among all U.S. states in high-tech exports, reaching over US$16.4 billion in 2011. (World Institute for Strategic Economic Research and Enterprise Florida estimates)
  • Foreign-owned companies employed 223,600 Floridians in 2010, the 6th highest in the nation, and 1st in the Southeast. (Bureau of Economic Analysis)
  • Miami is one of the nation’s leading centers for international banking. Numerous foreign and domestic banks active in international trade and finance have offices in Florida.
  • Florida is the world’s telecommunications gateway to Latin America and the Caribbean: a multitude of undersea and terrestrial fiber optic cables converge in Florida, ensuring unparalleled global connectivity.
  • Florida sits at the nexus of transportation links in the Americas. The state’s 15 deepwater seaports, 19 commercial airports, and 50+ officially-designated multimodal connectors ensure the seamless movement of people and goods between any two points on the planet.
  • Florida is home to hundreds of airports, including commercial service airports and general aviation airports. Florida’s airports have numerous direct flights to all key Latin American and Caribbean destinations, most major European cities, and one-stop air services to the Asia/Pacific region.
  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Florida has nearly 5 million speakers of languages other than English.