October 21, 2020
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Contact: Sean Helton
ORLANDO, FL (February 19, 2013) – Governor Rick Scott and Enterprise Florida (EFI) today announced that the participating companies on the trade mission to Bogotá, Colombia reported actual and expected sales in excess of $40 million as a result of the trip. Governor Scott and EFI were a part of one of the largest TEAM Florida trade missions to Bogotá, Colombia, with more than 190 participants representing 116 Florida companies, statewide organizations and higher educational institutions to promote economic development opportunities in the Sunshine State last December.
Governor Scott said, “It is great news that mission sales are on track to exceed $40 million, and with the recent ratification of the Free Trade Agreements, I am confident Florida’s economic relationship with Colombia will continue to grow and benefit Florida families. Florida has an ideal location to trade with Latin America and beyond. We are committed to growing jobs for Florida families, and missions to international markets help us build relationships across the globe to create new jobs and opportunities in the Sunshine State.”
Colombia is Florida’s second largest trading partner, with more than $9 billion in bilateral trade. Florida also accounts for one-fourth of the total U.S. trade with Colombia, and 37 percent of U.S. exports to Colombia move through Florida. Colombia is also among the top five world markets for Florida-made goods. International trade and foreign investment combined are responsible for more than 1.4 million Florida jobs, or about 17.3 percent of the state’s employment.
“Because Florida is the gateway to business in Latin America, we’re in a uniquely competitive position for accessing new opportunities in nations like Colombia,” said Enterprise Florida President & CEO Gray Swoope. “Sustaining and strengthening Florida’s global economic connections is vital to continuous diversification of the state’s economy and achieving overall prosperity. Governor Scott understands the importance of international trade and development in our state and the direct link to jobs growth.”
Manny Mencía, senior vice president of Enterprise Florida’s International Trade Division said, “Florida’s trade relationship with Latin America is critical to continued jobs creation in our state and Colombia is obviously a huge part of that relationship. These connections made between companies will be mutually beneficial for many years.”
Participants in the trip were pleased with the results and connections they made in Colombia. “This was a positive trip for us. Our agricultural control products are pending approval internationally so it was very beneficial to meet with those who can help us, as well as with potential clients in the coffee and flower industries,” said Joel Agler, owner of Magna Bon International in Okeechobee. “We’ve been on two trips, and Governor Scott and members of the Commerce Department have been very helpful in our efforts to get our products approved and traded internationally.”
Eddie Kolos, CEO of H2Ocean in Stuart was impressed with the efficiency of the event and was appreciative of the Governor’s willingness to support Florida’s small businesses. “It was an amazing trip. It was absolutely worth my while and time to meet with some important business people and have the opportunity to have so many productive meetings in one place,” said Kolos. “I spoke with Governor Scott during the trip and he showed a genuine appreciation for innovative natural health and skincare products. He offered his help in getting our products approved for international trade. The entire team was very accommodating and welcoming.”
The next trade mission Governor Scott will lead is a May 20-23 trip to Chile. Chile ranks sixth among Florida’s top products export destinations, having amassed more than $3.9 billion in exports in 2011. Florida exports to Chile increased by 24.3 percent from October 2011 to October 2012. The Chilean economy’s growth is expected to generate new export opportunities for Florida firms wanting to benefit from this strong business climate.
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Enterprise Florida, Inc. (www.eflorida.com) is a partnership between Florida’s business and government leaders and is the principal economic development organization for the state of Florida. Headquartered in Orlando, Enterprise Florida’s mission is to facilitate job growth for Florida’s businesses and citizens leading to a vibrant statewide economy. In pursuit of its mission, Enterprise Florida works closely with a statewide network of economic development partners and is funded both by the State of Florida and by private-sector businesses.