August 23, 2019
Monday, June 27, 2016
Mission creates new opportunities for 35 Florida companies
MIAMI, Fla. (June 23, 2016) – Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI), today announced that the recent trade and development mission to Mexico resulted in more than $23 million in total projected and actual export sales for the companies in attendance. The EFI-led group of 92 small business leaders and statewide partners visited Mexico City from May 23-26.
“Mexico is the fastest-growing export market in the Western Hemisphere for Florida companies,” said Manny Mencia, senior vice president of international trade and development for EFI. “The Mexico market provides tremendous potential for our small businesses and it was great to see such a large contingent there on the mission. The 35 companies that attended really capitalized on the opportunity and will see long-term rewards as a result.”
Mexico is Florida’s 10th largest trade partner with more than $5 billion in bilateral trade, and Florida-origin exports to Mexico represent $2.7 billion.
Thirty-two companies participated in the U.S. Commercial Service’s Gold Key Matching Program. The EFI Mexico office facilitated an additional three Gold Key Services, bringing the mission total to thirty-five. Altogether, more than 250 pre-qualified meetings were organized for the participating Florida companies.
“Our goal was to identify one potential distributor and we found two distributors and the largest sporting goods retailer in Mexico,” said Tom Nihra, vice president of JTD Enterprises, Inc. in Lutz. “We would have never considered the trip without the help of the Enterprise Florida team and the SBDC Export Marketing Plan. The grants for the Export Marketing Plan and Gold Key were the reason we decided to make the trip and the success we already have had are directly related to this funding. These additional sales and the information revealed in the Export Marketing Plan will lead to an additional one to two jobs within our company in the next twelve months.”
Custom Manufacturing and Engineering, Inc. from Pinellas Park attended the mission as well. “We met with potential representation companies, customers and trade organizations,” said Austin Cline, director of commercial sales for the company. “We were able to collect valuable information from all of our meetings which will allow us to formulate our tactical plan for selling automotive parts to Mexican companies. We discussed warehousing, local representation, direct shipments and other components that will make up our final strategy. Valuable contacts and future cooperative relationships were formed, so we were extremely pleased with our Gold Key participation.”
Gary Mart, Jr., CEO of Global Tech LED in Bonita Springs said, “We had a great event. The staff and participants were nice, professional, and timely. The meetings set up were great, each meeting was on point and well worth the time. We even walked away with an order!”
During the mission, EFI partnered with COMCE – the Mexican Business Council for Foreign Trade – to organize an MOU signing between the Florida Ports Council and Mexican Coordination of Ports and Merchant Marine. The MOU was signed to encourage direct sea routes between Florida’s ports and the Gulf Ports of Mexico. The ports hope to increase business due to expected increases in the automotive and energy sectors, in addition to the completion of the Panama Canal expansion. There are five current permanent shipping routes between Florida and Mexico.
While the mission was primarily focused on promoting Florida exports to the Mexican marketplace, EFI worked with SelectUSA and ProMexico to organize a seminar on business opportunities for Mexican companies in Florida. More than 60 Mexican business leaders attended the seminar.
EFI maintains an extensive schedule of overseas trade missions and exhibitions worldwide. Last year, EFI hosted 56 major domestic and overseas events, with 961 participating companies reporting more than $906 million in total projected export sales.