The Florida Chamber of Commerce recently released its new Trade and Logistics Study 2.0 singling out Miami as one of the winners when a newly expanded Panama Canal opens in 2015, creating a shift in trade patterns in favor of U.S. Atlantic ports. While the experts are still divided on the impact of the canal widening, the study underscores PortMiami’s competitive advantage as one of only four East Coast ports that will be able to accommodate the larger vessels.
But, there are many other factors that make South Florida — already a major north-south logistics hub — well-suited for new growth in the coming post-Panamax era, now only two years away.
Evidence of this is that the World Trade Center Miami will hold two shows during the next several weeks focused on increasing two-way trade for the global marketplace. Americas Food and Beverage Show, Oct. 28-29, and the Air Cargo Americas and Sea Cargo Americas Show, Nov. 6-8, will draw more than 17,000 international executives who are using Miami as a platform for buying and selling. In past years, these shows generated more than $300 million annually in international sales for Miami-based companies. In the future, I expect these numbers to increase exponentially.
The food and beverage market looks especially promising. This year, we have seen an almost 25 percent increase in the number of companies exhibiting their products at our show. We are expecting record sales. In terms of foreign buyers, we expect more than 2,000 participants from more than 80 countries to attend the show.
Air Cargo and Sea Cargo Americas is one of largest international conferences of its kind. This gathering brings together key players from around the world in both the air and cargo logistic industries. Given that Miami International Airport and PortMiami are our community’s largest economic engines, the value of this event to our local economy cannot be underestimated.
The Americas Food and Beverage and the Air Cargo Americas/Sea Cargo Americas shows are important indicators of South Florida’s standing as a growing and powerful gateway to markets around the world. For more information on how to participate, visit www.worldtrade.org.
Charlotte Gallogly, president, World Trade Center Miami, Miami