January 17, 2021

Why Florida? Reasons to Do Business in Florida

Seven solid answers to the question why locating and expanding your business in Florida just makes good sense.

Janet Ware | 9/24/2009

3. AN EXTENSIVE GLOBAL REACH

Thanks to a prime geographic location and an environment of economic and political stability, Florida is at the center of trade and finance throughout the Western Hemisphere. In 2008, Florida recorded the highest trade surplus among all U.S. states, and international business — trade in goods and services plus foreign direct investment — accounted for about one-sixth of the state’s economy.

globeFlorida’s total international trade in 2008 reached $130.5 billion, fueled, in part, by a multicultural, multilingual workforce that is highly adept at facilitating international commerce. Combined exports of goods and services alone came to $84.6 billion, helping to sustain more than 1.1 million jobs throughout the state.

Florida remains the nation’s 3rd largest exporter of high-tech products; sales in 2008 totaled more than $14.6 billion, an increase of nearly $1.3 billion over the previous year. Florida also is a significant exporter of knowledge-based services, such as accounting, consulting, engineering, financial, legal, medical, telecommunications and transportation services. In 2008, these exports reached a record $30.3 billion and supported 425,000 Florida jobs. And at $54.3 billion in 2008, Florida-origin exports — goods produced or with significant value added in Florida — were up 21% over the previous year and supported an estimated 597,000 jobs.

At the same time, foreign direct investment (FDI) in Florida came to $39.3 billion in 2006 (most recent data), making this state the nation’s 9th largest recipient of FDI. Close to 2,400 international companies maintain a presence in Florida, representing 273,100 jobs. More than 80 foreign and domestic banks active in international trade and finance have offices in Florida, including six of the 10 largest banks in the world.

Watching the space shuttle
With one of the world’s most extensive multimodal transportation systems, including 20 commercial airports, 14 deepwater shipping ports, a vast network of highways and railway connections and Kennedy Space Center’s Spaceport, Florida’s reach spans the globe and beyond.

With one of the world’s most extensive multimodal transportation systems, including 20 commercial airports, 14 deepwater shipping ports, a vast network of highways and railway connections and Kennedy Space Center’s Spaceport, Florida’s reach spans the globe and beyond. Direct and/or one-stop air service is available to all key Latin American and Caribbean destinations, most major European cities and numerous destinations in the Asia/Pacific region.

Recognized as one of the top five telecommunications hubs in the world, Florida is a true global gateway. 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 LA Grid, facilitate research and development efforts. Florida also 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, and hosts a Consular Corps representing some 80 nations. And with a vast network of 10 international offices, seven trade offices located around the state and 15 country-specific websites, Enterprise Florida offers vital services for businesses looking to locate in Florida from overseas and for Florida-based businesses seeking to expand internationally.

Next page: A Business-Friendly Environment

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