Florida sent a notice to China this week informing them we are open for more business
China is already Florida’s third largest merchandise trading partner, but state economic development officials are hoping to increase that with this week’s opening of two new business development offices — in Hong Kong and Shanghai. The offices will focus on attracting foreign direct investment to Florida, trade relations and increasing Florida seaport activity.
“We are opening these full-service offices to provide support to a growing number of Chinese companies interested in doing business in Florida. We will also serve Florida’s small and medium-sized business as they seek to expand in the dynamic economies of China,” said Gray Swoope, Florida’s Secretary of Commerce and president & CEO of Enterprise Florida.
Trade and investment ties between Greater China and Florida have grown in recent years as an increasing number of Chinese companies have sought inroads into Florida as a gateway to Latin America.
- China is Florida’s #1 largest import market.
- China is Florida’s #3 largest merchandise trading partner.
- China is the #1 customer for the Port of Miami in overall tonnage.
- More than 200,000 Chinese tourists visit Florida annually.
- Florida is #9 among states with a Chinese-American population.
Florida trade with Hong Kong has increased at a steady rate. The exports from Florida jumped by 41% to a total of $1.3 billion in 2013, making Hong Kong the number one Asian export destination for Florida.
"The presence of Enterprise Florida in Hong Kong shows that our city is important as a trade and financial center in the Asia Pacific region. With excellent international connectivity and proximity to Mainland China, Hong Kong will continue to stand out in the region as a strategic location for businesses and government bodies,” said Simon Galpin, director-general of Investment Promotion, Invest Hong Kong.
A number of Hong Kong and Shanghai-based companies have established business activities in Florida due in part to its industrial capabilities, easy access to the U.S. and Latin American markets, and port facilities. Florida and China also share a number of targeted economic sectors, including those related to financial and professional services, logistics & distribution, life sciences and information technology.
Funding for both sites was approved by the 2013 Legislature. Enterprise Florida now has 12 international offices working to bring foreign direct investment and trade opportunities to Florida.