Miami District Office and Florida DEC combine efforts to promote exports to Caribbean Basin – International Trade Administration Miami District Office and the Florida District Export Council
The International Trade Administration Miami District Office and the florida District Export Council (DEC) are coordinating their efforts to increase Florida’s already booming trade with Caribbean Basin countries.
The Florida DEC has established a Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) Task Force which will work with the Miami District Office in transmittint Caribbean Basin trade opportunity leads to Florida businesses. The two units recently implemented a network to expedite these leads. When leads are received by the staff of the district office, they will be forwarded immediately to the DEC CBI Task Force, made up of five DEC members who have experience in the various aspects of export and investment in the Caribbean Basin area. If the leads are of local interest, the CBI Task Force will send them to a local task force comprised of representatives of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, the International Center of Florida, the Export-Import Association, and others. The remaining leads will be farmed out to Florida-wide businesses through the DEC membership.
While this cooperative effort and others around the country should greatly enhance the United States’ ability to foster economic development in the Caribbean Basin through U.S. exports and investment, the principal goal of the Commerce Department’s CBI program, Florida’s businesses have recognized the value of trading with their Caribbean neighbors for some time. According to The Florida International Trade Survey, 1983, published in December 1983, 61 percent of the companies surveyed in Florida rated the Caribbean Basin as being “their primary market.”
In terms of Florida’s exports, nearly 30 percent of Florida’s exports in 1982 went to the Caribbean Basin. Florida’s imports from that area in the same year amounted to 18 percent. Although trade figures for 1983 are not yet available, statistical data compiled by the Bureau of the Census show that the Miami Customs District accounted for a whopping 97.4 percent of Florida’s exports to the Caribbean Basin and 73.6 percent of the state’s exports.
With Congressional approval of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act of 1983, and the cooperation among the Miami District Office, the Florida Department of Commerce, and the Florida DEC, Florida’s trade with its Caribbean Basin neighbors should continue to flourish in the coming years.
The Legislative Committee is considering inviting a state legislator with specific interests and expertise in promoting exports and international business to become part of the DEC.
The New Jersey group is planning a trade mission to the ASEAN region, focusing on medical products and instrumentation, and is working with the Trenton District Office to strengthen the mailing lists for exporters used in the state. It will help identify all exporters in the area, which will be put on the District Office’s word processor. It is also reviewing potential visits by foreign buyer delegations to the state to consider the possibility of hosting some of these visits at a suitable location.
Oregon. The Oregon DEC’s Peer Counseling Committee has arranged for its members to provide guidance to new-to-export firms on problems related to products, country markets, or marketing issues that are found to hinder the firm’s decision to get into exporting.
Generally, these referrals are made following professional counseling by the Commerce district office’s trade specialists. The latter determine that peer discussions would be helpful. It is estimated that each member of the committee will perform approximately six counseling actions during the year.
The Oregon Dec’s Education Committee works with the Commerce district office to review its workshops and seminars to insure the appropriateness of subjects and recommend suitable cosponsors, as well as to participate in these events when its expertise is needed. It supports programs at Portland State University, the University of Oregon, and Oregon State University to match outstanding students with potential exporters that have expressed a need for market research assistance.
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