Florida's 15 public seaports play a critical role in the lives of our citizens and continue to drive Florida's economy, in spite of the current recession and high unemployment. From what we wear to what we eat, from building materials to automobiles, almost everything we use in our daily lives flows through our ports.
Currently, Florida seaports generate more than 680,000 direct and indirect jobs and contribute $96 billion in economic value to the state through cargo and cruise activities. Florida maritime activities account for approximately 13% of Florida's Gross Domestic Product while contributing $2.4 billion in state and local taxes. Cruise industry activities effect virtually every industry in the country and the state, alone generating 130,000 jobs and $5.8 billion in wages for Florida workers.
A re-alignment of global trade routes is clearly underway, and Florida ports are strategically positioned to take maximum advantage of this opportunity. Our goal is to invest in infrastructure, improve the business climate, and above all, seize the opportunity to become a global hub, capturing an even larger share of international trade and related commercial activities.
This will be accomplished by providing investments and incentives for projects that capture a larger share of the containerized imports serving Florida businesses and consumers; expanding export markets for Florida businesses; and, creating more efficient logistics patterns that attract advanced manufacturing and other export-related industries to Florida.
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