Enterprise Florida, the state’s public-private economic development organization, opened offices this week in Hong Kong and Shanghai. With the new expansion, the group now has 12 international locations, including three in Asia, from which to recruit businesses, trade and investments to Florida.
Gray Swoope, Florida’s commerce secretary and Enterprise Florida president, visited China this week to mark the opening of the new offices. Funding for the sites was included in last year’s state budget.
“We are opening these full-service offices to provide support to a growing number of Chinese companies interested in doing business in Florida,” Swoope said in a statement. “The state is continuing its strong recovery and provides an unmatched investment opportunity for Chinese companies looking to grow in the United States.”
China is the largest importer of goods into Florida and the biggest customer to PortMiami by tonnage, according to Enterprise Florida. More than 200,000 Chinese tourists visit Florida each year, and the state’s Chinese-American population is ninth in the United States.
Hong Kong has been a particular trade hotspot and is the top Asian export destination for Florida. The state’s exports to Hong Kong last year totaled $1.3 billion, a 41-percent increase from the previous year.