May 2, 2018
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
MIAMI, Fla. (April 26, 2017) – The Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI)-led trade mission to South Africa resulted in more than $38 million in expected export sales and $700,000 in actual sales for 15 Florida companies. EFI hosted eight events that attracted South African companies with demonstrated potential and/or actual interest in developing commercial ties with the Florida companies that participated in the mission. The mission was held February 24-March 4 and visited Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.
Mike Grissom, Interim President & CEO, Enterprise Florida, Inc. said, “Florida is an international trade and export gateway to the world. Our team works closely with partners in our international offices to connect Florida businesses to customers outside of the United States, and these connections turn small Florida businesses into larger businesses. I am proud to see the success of this trade mission and commend Senator Galvano for his support of the Africa Trade Expansion Program.”
“Florida’s businesses and products are desired throughout the world, and it’s clear that South African importers recognize the value in doing business with companies that call the Sunshine State home,” said Sen. Bill Galvano. “The global marketplace is key to Florida’s economic future, and the success of this mission is a clear illustration of the opportunities that await.”
As a member of the five-nation South African Customs Union, South Africa already offers immediate access to a market well beyond its own 54 million people. Additionally, the collaborative relationship with their East African neighbors represents an opportunity for open market access to 26 other countries with a combined GDP of over $900 billion and a consumer base of more than 550 million.
With the fastest growing middle class population in the world, the demand for U.S. products and services in Africa is outpacing the supply. Florida exporters are well positioned to gain from entry into the South African market. Our geographic location makes us the closest U.S. state to Africa and our superb international trade infrastructure and our business community’s experience and expertise, uniquely qualifies us as ideal trading partners with Africa.
The Enterprise Florida Trade Mission to South Africa included:
Without EFI assistance, many companies would not be able to attend this trade mission and would have missed valuable business opportunities.
Jeffrey Graff, International Sales Manager, Perma-Liner Industries, Clearwater said, “This trade mission to South Africa has completely opened up conversation about our product and services and will most likely result in the placement of at least one distributorship and at least 3 installers of our equipment and product. The preparation and matchmaking prior to my arrival was superb; 8 out of 8 appointments were positive introductions to my product and would appear most will purchase within the next 3-6 months.”
“The program allowed me to meet directly with companies, decision makers and local small businesses that I would not have met otherwise. The program also allowed me to meet with people I attempted to meet on my own for over 12 months,” said Mike Cantave, President, 2Lyons Aerospace, Tamarac. “Because of the meetings and connections, I will now be able to increase the percentage of international sales and add 3 people to my organization in the next few months. With the projected growth, my company will be able to contribute more to the US economy and Florida’s economy. This is a definitely effective way to grow a business & expand a customer base.”
Glenn Williams, President, Bell Performance, Longwood said, “This trip to South Africa was excellent in terms of the value it provided to our company. The EFI team matched us up with some great potential partners who have some strong interest in our products. We are now cultivating these relationships. The grant we received from EFI has helped to make these connections possible, and it was something we could have not duplicated through our own efforts to reach the market. Over the next year or two, I expect that we will turn these relationships into distributors which will allow us to move more of our fuel treatments into South Africa, and this is just the beginning. None of this would be possible without the assistance of EFI.”
EFI maintains an extensive schedule of overseas trade missions and exhibitions worldwide. In fiscal year 2015-16, Florida small and mid-sized businesses reported more than $911 million in total projected export sales following international missions and trade shows. Last year, EFI provided 129 Target Sector Trade Grants totaling nearly $490,000 to qualified show exhibitors. Those small businesses reported more than $426 million in total expected export sales.
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