No other site in the Western Hemisphere can match Florida’s unique combination of strategic geographic location, state-of-the-art infrastructure, multilingual workforce, and concentration of corporate and financial resources. All of these factors combined make Florida a leader in international trade and foreign direct investment. From Florida, companies can do business globally with great ease, both virtually and in the real world.
Learn more International Business Facts About Florida
International Business Hub: Florida is host to some 300 regional and hemispheric headquarters of companies from all over the world, making it a pillar of international business and trade. Many international firms base other facilities, such as those for warehousing, distribution and manufacturing, in Florida to take advantage of its easy access to global markets. For detailed statistics on foreign-affiliated companies and related employment in Florida, please visit our Knowledge Center.
Foreign Direct Investment: Florida is a leader in foreign direct investment, attracting companies from all over the world. Ranking 8th among all U.S. states in total holdings by majority foreign-owned firms and 6th in employment by them, Florida has emerged as a hotspot for foreign direct investment (FDI).
International Trade: Merchandise trade valued at $103 billion flowed through Florida’s airports and seaports in 2009, making the state one of the world’s leaders in international trade. Enterprise Florida and its network of economic development partners around the state provide valuable exporting assistance services to Florida-based companies looking to expand their markets internationally.
Immigrant Investor Visa Program: The state of Florida is well-positioned to benefit from the EB-5 Investor Visa program as it complements the state’s history of being a favored destination for foreign direct investment. Florida’s EB-5 Regional Centers offer foreigners the opportunity to obtain their permanent U.S. residency while investing in Florida. The program also benefits the state’s economy as it helps to channel foreign direct investment to Florida and helps create jobs for the state’s residents.
Foreign Trade Zones: Florida's international businesses enjoy access to the second largest FTZ network in the country, encompassing 20 Foreign Trade Zones, mostly located at or near its seaports and international airports (map). There, value can be added to foreign goods tariff free before shipping them on to another country.
Worldwide Connectivity: International trade and FDI thrive in Florida due in part to the state's excellent infrastructure. Through state-of-the-art multi-modal transportation infrastructure of highways, railways, seaports, airports, a spaceport, and one of the most advanced telecommunications networks in the world, Florida enables international businesses to easily connect with their worldwide customers in every possible way. In addition, there are more direct flights connecting Florida with Latin America and the Caribbean than all other U.S. states combined.
Cosmopolitan Environment: Florida is a vibrant international banking center, a diplomatic hub with a Consular Corps representing nearly 80 nations, a world-renowned tourism destination with millions of visitors every year, and home to a diverse and multilingual population. As a truly global state, Florida is also the second most active participant in the City/Sister State programs in the United States, underscoring its worldwide connections and open business and cultural environment.
International Education: Nearly 30,400 international students were enrolled at Florida colleges and universities in the 2008-09 academic year. Many graduate and undergraduate academic institutions in Florida are also ranked on U.S. News and World Report list of Best Colleges for International Business programs.
Trade and Investment Network: With a vast network of 12 international offices, 7 trade offices located around the state, and 15 country-specific websites (use International Websites drop-down menu), Enterprise Florida Inc. offers many vital services for businesses looking to locate in Florida from overseas and for Florida-based businesses looking to expand internationally.