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Florida’s International Business Sector:

Merchandise trade valued at $143 billion flowed through Florida’s airports and seaports in 2016, making the state one of the world’s leaders in international trade.

Florida continues to have the highest trade surplus among all U.S. states, a reflection of the state’s role as a global hub in the Western Hemisphere. International trade and foreign-direct investment accounted for about one-sixth of the state’s economic output last year and supports an estimated one million jobs. Trade and foreign direct investment play a fundamental role in Florida’s economy by fueling growth, supporting jobs and diversifying the economic infrastructure.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Florida’s Job Creation Efforts:

  • Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is a direct investment into production or business in a country by an individual or company in another country, either by buying a company in the target country or by expanding operations of an existing business in that country.
  • Foreign investment is extremely important to the Florida economy and Governor Scott’s job creation objectives for the state.  
  • According to the latest available data, more than 2,500 FDI establishments account for 236,000 jobs in Florida.  
  • FDI jobs pay much higher than average wages, making them a high priority. Florida currently ranks 6th in the nation in FDI and first in the Southeast.  
  • Florida has a number of strengths to leverage, including one of the fastest growing international economies, strong air and seaport infrastructure, as well as a large and well qualified multicultural workforce.  
  • Governor Scott’s goal is to make Florida the clear choice for foreign companies seeking to expand in the United States.

EFI Export Services to Florida Companies:

  • Export counseling and troubleshooting assistance to more than 2,000 Florida companies annually through its seven statewide offices.
  • Assist Florida companies to identify best markets for their products and provide pertinent market entry information and data.
  • Organize trips to more than 30 international export development events annually and 800-1,000 Florida small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) participate.
  • Assistance through U.S. Commercial Service to provide Gold Key Service Packages. The Gold Key Service includes one-on-one appointments with pre-screened Mexican companies that have expressed an interest in your product or service.
  • Referral of more than 500 qualified export sales leads annually to Florida SMEs free of charge.
  • Development of the first state export directory online. Listing is free to Florida companies.
  • Market Florida and small businesses aggressively worldwide.

Export diversification grants: EFI provides small grants to Florida SME manufacturers and high tech companies to help them find clients in new markets, helping to avoid over-reliance on any one market.