by Mike Vogel
The government can’t track global trade in creative fields the way it can cell phone exports or copper imports, but international business is a significant part of the Florida creative industry sector. “A lot of our companies one way or another deal with international,” says Jaap Donath, vice president for research and strategic planning at the Beacon Council, the economic development organization in Miami-Dade, but, he says, “there’s no good data.”
Case in point: HBO Latin America Group, which won’t show up in U.S. Customs district data but does business in more than 20 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Beacon Council economic development organization announced late in 2011 that the 266-employee company would add 101 jobs over the next two years.
In Miami-Dade alone, the creative design sector — encompassing advertising, architecture and engineering, fashion, digital media, film and TV and industrial design — employs 15,000, according to the council, which has made creative design one of its seven targeted industries.
Companies in the creative sector leverage their Spanish-speaking strengths and expertise in the U.S. Hispanic market to do business in Latin America: Miami-based Zyscovich Architects designed part of Bogotá’s El Dorado International Airport; Miami-based architecture firm, Arquitectonica, has a portfolio that runs from Singapore to Peru; Art Basel, the annual contemporary art show in Miami, draws 10,000 of its 50,000 visitors from outside the United States and two-thirds of its 250 gallery exhibitors, says Robert Goodman, its Florida representative. Art Miami, a separate contemporary and modern art fair, kicks off its Art Week this month with a VIP preview for art collectors, including some from abroad. The state of Berlin and the European Union will be supporting seven Berlin-based galleries. In fashion, Miami is a global capital, especially for swimwear. Some 50 of the 60 designers at Miami Fashion Week are from abroad.