Enterprise Florida is jetting off to South Africa
Economic development agency Enterprise Florida is jetting off to South Africa this Friday, taking two dozen Florida company executives south and facilitating one-on-one meetings with potential foreign partners, all in the hopes of helping the businesses expand into the foreign economy.
“The delegation of 24 executives participating in the trade mission represent 18 Florida institutions,” said Manny Mencia, Coral Gables-based senior vice president of international trade and development for Enterprise Florida.
“There are 16 companies that we will be matchmaking for, and two universities are on the trip to expand ties with South African universities.”
The two universities represented are the University of Central Florida, based in Orlando, and Florida Polytechnic University, based in Lakeland.
By matchmaking, Enterprise Florida sets up one-on-one meetings with South African companies and investors that have shown interest in the Florida company’s products.
Two Miami businesses – industrial equipment supplier Eymaq and cosmetics company Concept II Cosmetics – will be part of the delegation.
“It’s a pretty broad statewide delegation,” Mr. Mencia said. “Most of the program revolves around getting these companies individual appointments with potential clients through very straightforward matchmaking.”
The companies in the delegation hail from industries like aviation and aerospace, cosmetics, industrial equipment, environmental technology, food processing, IT, filling equipment for the food industry, sanitary equipment for food processing, safety equipment for industrial uses, proportional control for railroad and motor vehicles, and even a company that manufactures extracts and flavoring for food industries.
“It’s a broad menu of companies,” Mr. Mencia said.
The full trade mission agenda is to include qualified business appointments, in-depth briefings and a wide range of networking events, the event brochure states.
Enterprise Florida sees South Africa’s economy as having a low-entry threshold due to location options, logistics infrastructure, the English language and benign legal processes.
Additionally, South Africa is a business incubator for new-to-market ideas, according to the agency. As the middle class in Africa grows, the agency said, business models launched in and from South Africa will find easier acceptance in other sub-Saharan African markets.
Participants will be able to interact with high-level government officials and business decision-makers in a variety of industry sectors.
The trade mission is in line with Florida’s African Trade Expansion Program, which fosters and promotes bilateral trade opportunities in the African market for Florida businesses.