EFI-led mission provides Florida small businesses with access to Middle East market

ORLANDO, Fla. (February 26, 2016) – The Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI)-led trip to Arab Health 2016 resulted in more than $87.5 million in total export sales, including more than $7.5 in actual sales and nearly $80 million in expected sales for 29 Florida life sciences companies. Florida has attended the show for nearly a decade and again hosted the largest pavilion of any state in attendance.

“I congratulate our small businesses on their success at Arab Health,” said Bill Johnson, Florida Secretary of Commerce and President & CEO of EFI. “Arab Health offered Florida companies the chance to make critical sales connections in the Middle East and they capitalized on those opportunities. Florida’s expansive and growing presence at the show is a testament to the state’s innovative life sciences hub.”

The annual show, held January 25-28 in Dubai, is the second-largest medical trade show in the world. The Florida Pavilion exhibited 29 life science companies with various specialties. The Middle East is an expanding market with substantial opportunities for Florida companies to increase their exports. The show hosted more than 3,900 exhibitors from 64 countries with 39 dedicated country pavilions. The visitor numbers surpassed 89,000 attendees.

Florida Pavilion exhibitors included:

Without EFI assistance, many companies would not be able to attend and without the pavilion would not be as successful in reaching a large audience.

David C. Kerr, Chairman and CEO of Orthomerica Products said, “We came to Arab Health on our own three years ago and had a terrible location, so I contemplated not returning. The Florida Pavilion within the U.S. Pavilion provides foot traffic and support before, during and after the actual exhibition. We interviewed prospective distributors, followed up with distributors we met last year and presented our products to end users, thus generating leads for our distributors. If things go as well as expected, we will gain millions of dollars in sales and employ 30 new hires in 2016-2017.”

Mitchel Do, CEO of OSKO, Inc., said, “As a newly established company, Arab Health was a good opportunity to introduce our products to the Middle East and African markets. We had very good results with potential customers who are interested in U.S. manufactured x-ray systems and expect new contracts soon.”

“This year, Arab Health exceeded our expectations with the number of contacts we had, which were more than 300 leads during the four-day trade show. It will definitely generate sales and increase our business,” said Amanda Felix, CEO of US DEFIB MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES.

EFI maintains an extensive schedule of overseas trade missions and exhibits worldwide. In fiscal year 2014-15, EFI hosted 56 major domestic and overseas events, generating more than $906 million in total projected sales for Florida small and medium-sized businesses.

Total projected sales from recent EFI international events as reported by attending companies include:

  • MEDICA, Germany

The 27 Florida exhibitors who attended the show reported $145 million in total expected export sales.

  • Paris Air Show, France

Paris Air Show resulted in more than $150 million in total expected export sales from 17 Florida aviation and aerospace businesses.

  • Hospitalar, Brazil

Nine Florida exhibitors attended the third largest medical trade show in the world, reporting a record $31 million in total expected export sales.

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. Florida has the highest trade surplus among all states, with total trade exports plus imports hitting a record of $162.2 billion. Learn more about Enterprise Florida’s export assistance programs.