Florida’s International Business Sector:

In 2015, international trade proved once again to be one of the state’s strongest sectors, even with the economic challenges that affected global trade. Total merchandise trade (exports plus imports) reached $147.4 billion.

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.