Gov. Rick Scott heads to Japan with Florida business leaders

Gov. Rick Scott will lead a delegation of more than 20 business leaders to Japan this Saturday in an effort to push for more Japanese investment and job growth in the state.

The governor’s office released the following highlights about the upcoming trip:

On Saturday, November 2, Governor Rick Scott will lead an economic development mission to Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya Japan. Below, please see key facts about this week’s economic development mission, as well as a schedule of events.

· A delegation of more than 20 business leaders to Japan will focus on increasing business development opportunities for companies from Japan to invest, grow and create jobs in Florida.

· Over the duration of the trip, Governor Scott will meet with more than a dozen leading Japanese companies, and speak to more than 350 business leaders at seminars and forums promoting Florida as a super-state for business.

· Total expected export sales reported by Florida companies that attended Governor Scott led international missions is more than $400 million.

· The mission’s goal is to recruit more foreign direct investment (FDI) for Florida and to encourage Japanese-owned businesses in the state to expand. According to the latest available data, more than 2,500 FDI establishments in Florida account for 236,000 jobs.

· In 2012, Japanese companies exported $6.7 billion dollars to Florida, an increase of 19% over the previous year.

· Japan is the number one investor in Florida in terms of property, plant and equipment.

· There are more than 200 Japanese-owned companies in the state which account for over 20,000 Florida jobs.

· More than 270,000 Japanese tourists visit Florida annually.

· Japan is Florida’s 2nd largest import market and Japan is Florida’s 8th largest merchandise trading partner.

· In 2012, Governor Scott’s active and innovative approach to promoting international business won him an award as the top U.S. governor for foreign direct investment strategy from London-based fDi Magazine.

David A. Hart, Executive Vice President
Florida Chamber of Commerce
“As the country with the third largest economy in the world, Japan represents a tremendous opportunity for Florida. The Florida Chamber of Commerce applauds Governor Scott for leading his 10th international mission. We are honored to be joining him to promote Florida’s friendly business climate and the opportunities to trade, invest and create jobs in our state. As pointed out in our recent Florida Trade and Logistics Study 2.0, Florida is uniquely positioned to become a global hub for trade and logistics. Under Governor Scott’s leadership between 2010-2012. Florida has already created nearly 23,000 new jobs in trade and logistics and more than 9,000 new manufacturing jobs. If we implement the recommendations of the study, missions like this one to Japan will help Florida create another 150,000 jobs over the next five years.”

Bill Johnson, Director
PortMiami
“As Florida looks to Asia for increased trade opportunities to accompany the opening of the expanded Panama Canal in 2015, trade missions to economic powerhouses, such as Japan, play an important role in our state’s business development strategy to expand global trade. The State of Florida is fortunate to have its Governor at the helm on these international missions that will reap benefits for years to come.”

Michael J Garavaglia Jr., President, Managing Partner of The Packers of Indian River Ltd.
Florida Citrus Commissioner, International Markets Chair
“The Packers of Indian River Ltd. directly employ more than 240 peak season production, packing and sales team members. Our markets include more than 10 international countries and the U.S. domestic market. For more than 20 years, our primary market has been Japan. As such, it is important for the Florida Grower stakeholders to participate in Governor Scott’s business development mission as it gives the citrus industry the opportunity to not only continue to promote our product in this key market but also highlight Florida’s business-friendly climate.”

Thomas (T.P.) Kennedy, President and Chairman of the Indian River Citrus League
Vice President United Indian River Packers L.L.C.
“It is my pleasure to attend Governor Rick Scott’s Japan mission as the Chairman of the Indian River Citrus League. It is very important for Governor Scott to lead international missions in order to promote exports from the State of Florida, such as grapefruit and other citrus products. The Governor’s visit demonstrates Florida grapefruit industry’s commitment to trade with the Japanese market. Japan is Florida Grapefruit Grower’s largest and most important market in the world, importing about 4.5 million boxes of fresh Florida grapefruit just last season. It is also important for the Governor to invite Japanese manufacturing companies, distribution companies and investors to invest and build their manufacturing plants, warehouses and distribution facilities in the State of Florida.”

Frank Kruppenbacher, Board Chairman Greater Orlando Aviation Authority
“Traveling with Governor Scott reinforces the value and mutual benefits of a strong international relationship would have for Florida and Japan. For the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, exploring new opportunities in Japan is dependent on presenting a business case to Japanese airlines for non-stop flights between Tokyo and Orlando which will stimulate both business and leisure travel to Florida and Japan.”

Eric Silagy, President of Florida Power & Light Company
Chair of the Florida Chamber of Commerce board of directors
“Governor Scott is an extremely passionate and effective advocate for greater international investment and job growth in our state. I’m proud to join him and other business leaders as we showcase our partners in Japan and tout how we are all working together to make Florida a great place to do business.”

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