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Front Page » Top Stories » Florida and Mexico ties focus of 92-member trade team

Florida and Mexico ties focus of 92-member trade team

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Written by on May 17, 2016

Florida and Mexico ties focus of 92-member trade team

Despite Bill Johnson’s nearing departure as Enterprise Florida president and CEO, he’ll lead a 92-member export development mission to Mexico City from May 23-26, bringing 35 Florida businesses to match with Mexican companies and seeking to expand cargo links between ports in Florida and Mexico.

Alan Becker, vice chair of Enterprise Florida’s board, said Mr. Johnson’s resignation won’t impact the mission and he’ll still head the visit as Florida Secretary of Commerce until June 24.

“Bill Johnson is an excellent salesman for Florida business so he will do a fantastic job,” Mr. Becker said. “Enterprise is extremely experienced with foreign trade missions, so I expect this to be a very successful trip as many Enterprise trips are.”

The companies on the mission have never done business in Mexico before, said Manny Mencia, Enterprise’s senior vice president of international trade & development. The aim of the trip is to introduce them in order to expand their business in the country.

“Florida companies are using the mission to penetrate and expand on to Mexico,” Mr. Mencia said. “This is what Enterprise does – we help Florida companies overseas.”

Some of the 92 Florida delegates work for 35 companies that are participating in Enterprise’s gold key matchmaker program that sets up one-on-one meetings with potential Mexican clients and partners.

Other delegates will work on the secondary objective of building traffic between the ports of Florida and Mexico. According to Mr. Mencia, a strategic alliance between the Florida Ports Council and Mexican maritime authorities is likely to be formed.

“There is a protocol agreement being finalized between our ports and theirs that will be signed at the end of the mission,” he said. “It is a corporation agreement that they will together develop and research market opportunities for ships.”

Four key ports hope to ensure this by sending their executive directors. They include Steven Cernak of Broward County’s Port Everglades, Wayne Stubbs of Port of Panama City, Paul Anderson of Port Tampa Bay and Juan Kuryla of PortMiami.

“This shows the importance of our ports’ needs to increase business with Mexico,” Mr. Becker said. “This is important trade so [the ports] are bringing their top person.”

He also mentioned the importance of establishing trade by sea as the most efficient method, rather than the trade by road that Mexico employs across the border of the Southwest.

“Mexico has not been one of the more active markets for Florida, and we think we can change that,” Mr. Becker said. “With some of the border problems, trade by sea to Florida can be more effective with Mexico than some of the more delayed trade by the road through the border. This is part of the case we will be making while we are there.”

Health businesses have also identified the importance of the trip, as organizations such as Unipharma LLC, the University of Miami Health System and PharmaTech LLC are some trying to expand their network in Mexico.

Mr. Becker said the trip focuses on Enterprise’s core mission of bringing companies to expand and promote trade in Florida and helping the state’s own companies to export. He praised Mexico as a place of high interest for this.

“Mexico is a good target market right now because their economy is doing better than many of the economies in Central and South America,” he said.
Enterprise hopes the trip to Mexico will yield results to expand on the foreign trade economy in which, according to Mr. Becker, Florida currently leads all other states.

“To open up markets to Florida goods is critical because that’s what helped small and mid-sized companies grow,” Mr. Becker said. “We more than any other state participate in exports. The percentage of Florida business exporting is higher than any other state and we want to see that grow.”

Despite Bill Johnson’s nearing departure as Enterprise Florida president and CEO, he’ll lead a 92-member export development mission to Mexico City from May 23-26, bringing 35 Florida businesses to match with Mexican companies and seeking to expand cargo links between ports in Florida and Mexico.

Alan Becker, vice chair of Enterprise Florida’s board, said Mr. Johnson’s resignation won’t impact the mission and he’ll still head the visit as Florida Secretary of Commerce until June 24.

“Bill Johnson is an excellent salesman for Florida business so he will do a fantastic job,” Mr. Becker said. “Enterprise is extremely experienced with foreign trade missions, so I expect this to be a very successful trip as many Enterprise trips are.”

The companies on the mission have never done business in Mexico before, said Manny Mencia, Enterprise’s senior vice president of international trade & development. The aim of the trip is to introduce them in order to expand their business in the country.

“Florida companies are using the mission to penetrate and expand on to Mexico,” Mr. Mencia said. “This is what Enterprise does – we help Florida companies overseas.”

Some of the 92 Florida delegates work for 35 companies that are participating in Enterprise’s gold key matchmaker program that sets up one-on-one meetings with potential Mexican clients and partners.

Other delegates will work on the secondary objective of building traffic between the ports of Florida and Mexico. According to Mr. Mencia, a strategic alliance between the Florida Ports Council and Mexican maritime authorities is likely to be formed.

“There is a protocol agreement being finalized between our ports and theirs that will be signed at the end of the mission,” he said. “It is a corporation agreement that they will together develop and research market opportunities for ships.”

Four key ports hope to ensure this by sending their executive directors. They include Steven Cernak of Broward County’s Port Everglades, Wayne Stubbs of Port of Panama City, Paul Anderson of Port Tampa Bay and Juan Kuryla of PortMiami.

“This shows the importance of our ports’ needs to increase business with Mexico,” Mr. Becker said. “This is important trade so [the ports] are bringing their top person.”

He also mentioned the importance of establishing trade by sea as the most efficient method, rather than the trade by road that Mexico employs across the border of the Southwest.

“Mexico has not been one of the more active markets for Florida, and we think we can change that,” Mr. Becker said. “With some of the border problems, trade by sea to Florida can be more effective with Mexico than some of the more delayed trade by the road through the border. This is part of the case we will be making while we are there.”

Health businesses have also identified the importance of the trip, as organizations such as Unipharma LLC, the University of Miami Health System and PharmaTech LLC are some trying to expand their network in Mexico.

Mr. Becker said the trip focuses on Enterprise’s core mission of bringing companies to expand and promote trade in Florida and helping the state’s own companies to export. He praised Mexico as a place of high interest for this.

“Mexico is a good target market right now because their economy is doing better than many of the economies in Central and South America,” he said.
Enterprise hopes the trip to Mexico will yield results to expand on the foreign trade economy in which, according to Mr. Becker, Florida currently leads all other states.

“To open up markets to Florida goods is critical because that’s what helped small and mid-sized companies grow,” Mr. Becker said. “We more than any other state participate in exports. The percentage of Florida business exporting is higher than any other state and we want to see that grow.”

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