Florida Trade Entrepreneurship and Business Development Opportunities

(by Jessalyn Durand)- Florida, known for its rapid economic growth and international trade, offers numerous opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses. In this article, with The International Business & Trade Expo (ITBE),  explore the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Florida, the advantages it offers to entrepreneurs, and the potential for export and business matchmaking.

Florida's Economic Growth and International Trade

Florida’s robust economy has experienced significant growth, with a 4.4% increase in GDP in 2020, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. With a population of over 22 million people, Florida is the 4th largest state in terms of GDP and the 3rd largest in terms of population in the United States. It serves as a diplomatic hub, hosting consulates from more than 85 countries, over 70 binational chambers, and more than 260 sister city relationships. Additionally, French is the 4th most spoken language in Florida, following English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole.

Florida's International Trade Hub

Florida serves as a global logistics hub, boasting 15 major seaports and 19 international airports, including the prominent Miami International Airport. Miami, in particular, has one of the highest volumes of trade in North America and offers connectivity to Latin America, North America, Europe, and Asia. With over 58,000 export-oriented businesses, Florida possesses the second-largest foreign trade zone network in the United States, trailing only California. Moreover, Florida accounts for 33% of U.S. trade with Latin America and the Caribbean, solidifying its position as a global center for the Western Hemisphere.


Port Everglades, Florida's Premier Gateway for Trade and Export

Port Everglades, Florida’s leading container port and the tenth largest in the country by volume, plays a crucial role in facilitating trade between the United States and Latin America. It serves as Florida’s primary export port, generating $12.1 billion in export revenue and $11.1 billion in import revenue in 2017. The port handles 15% of trade between the United States and Latin America, making it a vital conduit for commerce in the region. 

Port Everglades also excels in refrigerated cargo, ranking as Florida’s fifth-largest and the nation’s top refrigerated port.  With an economic impact of $30.4 billion and over 13,000 direct jobs in 2017, Port Everglades significantly contributes to Florida’s economy. The port connects 150 ports and 70 countries worldwide, facilitating the transport of goods such as clothing, machinery, fruits, vehicles, beverages, wood, and steel. It operates as a self-funded enterprise, independent of local taxes, with a mission to become Florida’s global gateway, emphasizing economic and social value creation, trade expansion, job growth, security, and environmental protection.


Florida: A Thriving Hub for Entrepreneurship and International Trade

Florida offers exciting opportunities for entrepreneurs and business development with its vibrant economy, strategic location, and supportive business environment. Despite challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic, the state has shown remarkable economic growth, ranking 4th in GDP and 3rd in population among U.S. states. Florida’s international trade strength is evident through its extensive logistics infrastructure, including 15 major seaports and 19 international airports, facilitating global commerce. Port Everglades, the state’s leading container port, plays a vital role in trade with Latin America, generating significant economic activity and employment. With favorable tax regulations and ongoing investments, Florida remains highly attractive for businesses, solidifying its position as a key player in international trade.

We conclude with the point that Florida’s dynamic economy, robust trade infrastructure, and business-friendly policies create a fertile ground for entrepreneurial success. Entrepreneurs and businesses can leverage the state’s strategic location, international connectivity, and favorable economic conditions to thrive and expand their ventures. Whether in terms of trade, investment, or innovation, Florida presents a wealth of opportunities for those seeking to establish or grow their businesses

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