Location: Santo Domingo
Dates: February 23-26, 2014
Enterprise Florida (EFI) will lead a delegation of 138 Florida exporters, business leaders and statewide economic development representatives on an international export sales mission to the Dominican Republic from February 23-26. Governor Scott will not be participating in the upcoming mission to the Dominican Republic. However, trade and development missions like this one are vital to Florida’s small and medium-sized businesses.
The missions are focused, unique opportunities for companies and economic development partners to identify new clients from one of Florida’s strongest international markets. Florida has unmatched trade access to the Caribbean and Latin American markets, and EFI is looking forward to another successful mission to the region.
The Dominican Republic has become a significant partner in hemispheric affairs due to its role as the second-largest economy in the Caribbean and its large bilateral trade with the United States. The country is Florida’s 9th largest trading partner with 5.34 billion in two-way trade and the state’s 9th largest export market with $2.95 billion in Florida exports. In addition, the Caribbean nation ranks as Florida’s 10th largest import market with $2.38 billion in imports. With a strategic geographic location, the Dominican Republic provides easy trade access among the markets of the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America. The country has 11 important seaports and eight airports, which transport growing amounts of cargo and travelers each year. The country also enjoys a stable political climate and democratic consolidation, allowing for favorable foreign business investments.
Of the 89 Florida companies and institutions attending the mission, 32 are participating in the Gold Key matchmaker program, and 27 of those companies are receiving grants through EFI. The Gold Key matching program is provided by the U.S. Commercial Service. Participating companies receive numerous benefits, including customized market and industry briefings with trade specialists, timely and relevant market research, and pre-screened appointments with prospective trade partners in key industry sectors. More Florida small businesses use the Gold Key service than any other state.
Helping Florida manufacturers and exporters to find new clients and diversify their exports is a key priority of EFI. Export development trade missions of this type are one of the best and most cost-effective ways for Florida companies to reach new markets and expand their export sales. EFI assists Florida businesses in expanding internationally with trade missions and maintains an extensive schedule of overseas missions and exhibitions. In fiscal year 2012-13, EFI hosted 19 major overseas events with 412 participants. In all, 41 international trade events were held last fiscal year, generating nearly $726 million in total projected export sales reported.