From tech leadership to workforce talent, Florida offers every advantage.
2 Global Gateway
Florida is the strategic and economic center of the Americas. A prime geographic location, plus economic and political stability, have put Florida at the center of trade and finance throughout the Western Hemisphere. In 2007, Florida’s total international trade grew to $115 billion, fueled, in part, by a multicultural, multilingual workforce that is highly adept at facilitating international commerce.
In 2006 (most recent data), the total value of holdings by foreign-affiliated companies in Florida reached $39.3 billion, employing 273,100 Floridians. Among the U.S. states, Florida ranks 9th in total value of inward foreign direct investment and 5th in total employment by foreign-affiliated firms.
Miami is second only to New York as a U.S center for international banking. More than 70 foreign and domestic banks active in international trade and finance have offices in Florida, including six of the 10 largest banks in the world.
Florida’s combined exports of goods and services amounted to more than $72 billion in 2007, helping to sustain more than 1.1 million jobs. In addition, Florida ranks 6th in the nation in state-origin exports (those actually produced or with significant value added in the state), which reached nearly $45 billion in 2007. Florida is a diversified global exporter of knowledge-intensive services too, such as accounting, consulting, engineering, legal, medical, telecommunications and transportation services. Florida’s services exports reached $27 billion in 2007.
3 Entrepreneurial Environment
Small Business Survival Index 2008 ranks Florida as one of the nation’s friendliest states for entrepreneurs, and the U.S. Small Business Administration puts Florida among the most highly efficient states in fostering the birth of new businesses.
In addition to 34 Small Business Development Centers throughout the state and the Disney Entrepreneur Center in Orlando, all of which provide one-on-one counseling, training and other assistance to entrepreneurs at every level, Florida is home to dozens of high-tech incubators, accelerators and university-based research hubs. At the new Florida Institute for Commercialization of Public Research, a collaborative effort of university tech transfer offices statewide, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs looking for potentially lucrative investment opportunities can find information about Florida’s newest innovations, as well as business plans for start-up companies seeking venture capital support.
4 Global Connectivity
With one of the world’s most extensive multimodal transportation systems, including 19 major commercial airports, 14 deepwater shipping ports, a vast network of highways and railway connections and Kennedy Space Center’s one-of-a-kind Spaceport, Florida’s global connections are difficult to surpass.
The Network Access Point (NAP) in Miami serves as a major switching station for Internet traffic coming to and from Latin America, while other high-speed networks, such as the Florida LambdaRail and LAGrid, facilitate research and development efforts. In addition, Florida has some of the fastest and most widely available networks for high-speed and wireless connectivity.
Florida is the second most active participant in Sister City/State programs in the United States, underscoring its worldwide connections and open business and cultural environment. And with a vast network of 14 international offices, seven trade offices located around the state and 15 country-specific websites, Enterprise Florida offers many vital services for businesses looking to locate in Florida from overseas and for Florida-based businesses looking to expand internationally.