A delegation of members from Florida seaports, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise Florida and the Florida Ports Council traveled to China last week to meet with foreign counterparts in Hong Kong and Shenzhen. Representatives attended from seaports where Asian container trade is paramount, such as JAXPORT, Port Everglades, Port Miami and Port Tampa Bay.
Florida is a leading global trade hub and major producer of state-origin products like oranges, grapefruit, sugar and tomatoes, but it is also a key importer. In 2017, goods worth more than $83.2 billion traveled through Florida ports, much of them imported from China. The Asian nation is ranked as one of Florida’s top two trading partners in waterborne imports with over $6.4 billion in trade – an increase of 4.9% over last year.
“China is one of our state’s top trading partners, but there is still an opportunity to expand trade and investment relationships,” said Doug Wheeler, president and CEO of the Florida Ports Council. “There’s an abundance of mutually-beneficial market prospects in China, and we are excited for our partners and ports participating on this trip to connect with these opportunities.”
The Florida Ports Council coordinated with Enterprise Florida’s Greater China office to schedule meetings for the delegation with influential international business organizations, Hong Kong based terminal operators and shippers and the U.S. Consulate General. The group discussed current trends and developments within Hong Kong’s maritime sector and gained more perspective on the Asian market. The delegation also traveled to Shenzhen to attend the TPM Asia Conference, focusing on the shipping and transportation industry in Asia.