Contact: Stuart Doyle (407) 956-5689
Enterprise Florida Colombia trade mission set for Dec. 2-5
Business registration deadline Sept. 30, grants available for small companies
ORLANDO, FL (Aug. 16, 2012) – Enterprise Florida invites businesses statewide to participate in a Team Florida export sales mission to Bogotá, Colombia. To be led by Gov. Rick Scott, the mission is scheduled for Dec. 2-5. The registration deadline is Sept. 30 for companies and Oct. 22 for others who want to participate as Florida delegates. Businesses can sign up by contacting:
The mission will feature a “business matchmaking” opportunity: prescheduled appointments between participating Florida companies and potential business partners for them in Colombia. Space is limited to 20 Florida companies (manufacturers, distributors, exporters and service organizations) on a first-come, first-served basis after they meet eligibility criteria.
Colombia is the second largest of Florida’s global trading partner nations. In 2011, Florida-Colombia two-way trade totaled more than $9 billion. Furthermore, Colombia is among the top five world markets for Florida-made goods. Last year, Florida exported at least $3 billion worth of its products and services there.
“With the Free Trade Agreement now in effect, we believe it will enhance Florida trade significantly, providing a boost to our exports to Colombia,” said Manny Mencía, who heads Enterprise Florida’s international trade division. “Without the need to pay tariffs to export our state’s goods to growing economies like Colombia’s, Florida companies can invest more of their funds into job creation.”
More than 90 percent of U.S. exports to Colombia will enter that country duty free or will be eligible for an annual phase-out of their tariffs during the next decade. Mencía also points out other benefits the FTA will bring to exporters, such as more legal protections, particularly with intellectual property rights.
Products ranking among the best prospects for trade with Colombia include:
· Automotive parts
· Electrical power systems
· Information technology systems design and integration; software
· Medical equipment
· Plastics, resins
· Security systems and safety equipment
· Transportation Infrastructure
· Telecommunications equipment and services
· Professional Services
o Architecture and design
o Engineering and consulting services
o Banking, including trade finance and private wealth management
o Marketing and advertising
“This mission will help Florida businesses identify and establish relationships with buyers in one of the fastest growing markets in the world for Florida products,” Mencía assures. “Bogotá is a key business center.”
Gold Key Participation – The U.S. Commercial Service in Colombia will prescreen Colombian companies to assess their interest in the products and services of the Florida companies participating in the mission. Next, the Commercial Service will preschedule one-to-one appointments to match the Floridian and Colombian companies based on their mutual interest and business need. Gold Key participants also will have access to all mission events
Other provisions include:
* Spanish-English translator * Targeted promotional campaign throughout Colombia to attract prospects * Admission to all official Team Florida networking events, including lunches and cocktail receptions * Country briefing by U.S. Embassy official * Airport transfers in country when traveling on official mission flights * Ground transportation in country to all official mission events, originating at the official mission hotels
Cost: $900 for first Florida company representative; $500 for each additional representative.
Mission Delegate – This option includes:
* Admission to all official Team Florida networking events as detailed on the itinerary * Country briefing by U.S. Embassy official * Access to “Business Opportunities in Florida” seminar * Airport transfers in country when traveling on official mission flights * Ground transportation in country to all official mission events, originating at the official mission hotels
Cost: $500 per Florida company representative.
Note: airfare, lodging and meal accommodations are not included in the registration fees.
For smaller to mid-size companies – 500 or few employees – Enterprise Florida is offering grants to cover 100 percent of the registration cost. The funding is provided through U.S. Small Business Administration initiative. The grant is available only to Gold Key participants, and a company will be responsible for the registration cost if a cancellation or no-show occurs.
Companies must complete a separate application to obtain the grant.
* * *
Enterprise Florida, Inc. (www.eflorida.com http://eflorida.com/ ) is a partnership between Florida’s business and government leaders and is the principal economic development organization for the state of Florida. Headquartered in Orlando, Enterprise Florida’s mission is to facilitate job growth for Florida’s businesses and citizens leading to a vibrant statewide economy. In pursuit of its mission, Enterprise Florida works closely with a statewide network of economic development partners and is funded both by the State of Florida and by private-sector businesses.