Strengths: Proximity and cultural affinity for Latin America and the Caribbean; airport and seaport well-equipped to handle international trade and passengers; preponderance of international flights, including many connecting cities within Latin America; Spanish-speaking population; established base of professional services firms familiar with Latin America; multicultural environment; respected judicial system and lower legal costs than other major international cities.
|Art Basel Miami attracted 42,000 people last year. [Photo: Bill Wisser]|
Weaknesses (Miami-specific): Better-funded, more organized competitors in the U.S. — particularly Atlanta and Houston; few speakers of Asian languages; architects, real estate firms, interior designers, marketing companies and advertising agencies have drastically downsized or closed; banks are reluctant to do international private banking or trade financing because it's perceived as risky; little room for airport or seaport to expand; difficult transit between airport and seaport.
Weaknesses (U.S.): Increasingly difficult for foreign nationals to deal with customs, immigration and Homeland Security; federal taxes on international investors; compliance regulations have made international financial services very costly.
Flavor of Trade