Wednesday, May 16, 2012

International companies continue to invest in Florida

Gray Swoope
Florida Secretary of Commerce
President & CEO of Enterprise Florida, Inc.

Florida friends, It is so exciting to see Florida continuing to grow in importance and reputation in the world of business! Two recent events underscore my point: Florida's improved ranking in Chief Executive magazine's annual Best/Worst States for Business survey and the International Economic Forum of the Americas held last month in Palm Beach.

Florida's one-spot jump to #2 in the 2012 CEO survey indicates to me that our state's commitment to business continues to gain fans from across the nation. Executives were particularly impressed with Florida's efforts to reduce taxes and regulations, the quality of our workers and the exceptional quality of life here. Such feedback is music to the ears of this economic developer!

At the International Economic Forum of the Americas in Palm Beach, economic, political and business leaders got to hear Governor Scott talk about Florida's impressive strides in the economic recovery process, not in small part due to the state's booming international trade sector. As the dominant gateway to the growing Latin America and Caribbean markets, Florida is poised to benefit even more from the recently ratified free trade agreements with countries in the region, the expansion of the Panama Canal and other world trade developments.

Our main features today about Brazil's Embraer continued investment in Florida's aviation and aerospace industry and the important role that foreign direct investment plays in our economy also prove Florida's increased importance as an important economic and trade center on a regional and global scale.

The fact that so many international businesses are expanding in Florida and creating hundreds of jobs speaks to the advantages of doing business in our state as well as to the high quality of our workforce. I hope that your business also finds it beneficial to be in Florida!



ThumbnailEmbraer To Build New R&D Center in Florida
Embraer, the Brazil-based aircraft manufacturer focused on commercial, defense, and executive aviation, is expanding its operations at Melbourne International Airport. The company will be adding a new research and development facility – The Embraer Engineering and Technology Center USA – and 200 new engineering jobs with average salaries of $70,000, in the near term. At least 40 new jobs are anticipated in 2012. In welcoming the latest expansion of Embraer in Florida, Governor Scott noted that "Embraer's continued investment in Florida is evidence we are doing the right things to attract job-growing businesses."

Gary Spulak, Embraer North America President, cited the engineering talent available in the region and the company's partnership with Enterprise Florida, Space Florida and the Economic Development Commission of Florida's Space Coast as major factors for the company's choice of location.

Embraer's Engineering and Technology Center USA research and development operation will be housed in a 67,000 sq. ft. facility to be constructed at the Melbourne International Airport on the site of the current Embraer Executive Jets Division Headquarters and final assembly building.
The Impact of Foreign Direct Investment on Florida's Economy
New business investments from around the world pour into Florida every year, making it one of the top U.S. destinations for foreign direct investment (FDI). International companies are attracted to Florida's unique combination of a large internal market and strategic geographic location at the center of the Americas. In fact, Florida is home to some 300 regional and hemispheric headquarters of companies from all over the world. Florida's many corporate and financial resources, excellent infrastructure and multilingual workforce, as well as its welcoming, pro-business climate also make it easy to do business globally.

Total holdings of firms that are at least 50% foreign-owned, amounted to an estimated $35.9 billion in 2008 (most recent data available). These firms employed some 254,000 Floridians, ranking the state 6th in the nation in terms of employment by majority foreign-owned firms. Many of them continue to grow and invest in our state, creating hundreds of new jobs. Here are some of them:

MindTree Limited (India)
MindTree Limited, a global IT and Product Engineering Services Company, plans to open its first major U.S. Development Center in Gainesville. MindTree's expansion of its U.S. presence is expected to bring some 400 new jobs to the Gainesville area beginning late this summer.

HotBrands (Canada)
Hot Brands International, a restaurant company based in Toronto, Canada, has established its U.S. headquarters in Lakewood Ranch in Manatee County. more

2G Cenergy Power Systems (Germany)
A German manufacturer of clean energy power generation systems, 2G Cenergy is opening a U.S. manufacturing plant in St. Augustine and creating 125 jobs. more

IRISS, which manufactures infrared windows for inspecting industrial electrical equipment, announced plans to consolidate its UK-based manufacturing operation and U.S. headquarters at a new global headquarters in Manatee County.

If your company's headquarters are outside the state, consider the advantages of a Florida location. Call 407-956-5600 or e-mail us for more information today!

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