Florida’s strategic geographic location, combined with its state-of-the-art, multimodal infrastructure, multilingual workforce and heavy concentration of corporate and financial resources, facilitates a ready flow of people, goods and services over oceans and across international borders to and from the Sunshine State.
$153.5 bil. of Goods Through U.S. Customs in Florida
29% of Total Trade with Latin America & the Caribbean
3rd in the U.S. in High-Tech Exports
8th in the U.S. in State-Origin Exports
In 2018, goods valued at a total of $153.5 billion entered or exited the United States through Florida’s two U.S. Customs Districts, with Brazil, China and Chile leading the list of trading partners. Widely recognized as a global hub for the Western Hemisphere, Florida accounted for 29% of total U.S. trade with Latin America and the Caribbean in 2018. Top merchandise commodities traded through Florida included motor cars, civilian aircraft, engines and parts and electrical apparatus for line telephony.
Florida is home to more than 60,000 exporting companies – second only to California — and hosts the nation’s second largest Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) network with 21 facilities statewide. Florida is third among all U.S. states for high-tech exports, and one of every five U.S. exporting companies is located here. The majority of Florida exporters — 96% — are small and medium-sized companies with 500 or fewer employees; together, they account for two-thirds of all Florida exports annually.
Florida ranks 8th in the nation in state-origin exports (i.e., commodities
actually produced, or with significant value-added, in the state). In 2018, these exports totaled $57.2 billion, a 4.2% increase over the previous year. Brazil, Colombia and Chile were the top three recipient countries with civilian aircraft, engines and parts leading the list of commodities traded.
Foreign Direct Investment
Thanks to the combination of a booming economy — ranked fourth largest in the U.S. and 17th largest in the world if Florida was a nation — stable business environment and multinational workforce, Florida readily attracts foreign direct investment. The Sunshine State currently ranks fourth among all U.S. states in employment by majority foreign-owned firms and its most populated city — Miami — is a leading U.S. center for international banking; both foreign and domestic financial institutions are eager to establish their presence here. Further facilitating FDI are Florida’s EB-5 Regional Centers, which offer foreigners the opportunity to obtain permanent U.S. residency while investing in Florida through the EB-5 Investor Visa program.
Statewide, Florida’s population is both multiethnic and multilingual. Slightly more than a fifth of the state’s population is foreign-born, and close to 29% of households speak a language other than English at home.