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Fla. secretary of commerce in China

Florida Secretary of Commerce and president & CEO of Enterprise Florida (EFI), Gray Swoope, traveled to China this week to open business development offices in http://www.enterpriseflorida.com/international/international-offices/china-hong-kong/ and http://www.enterpriseflorida.com/international/international-offices/china-shanghai/.

The offices will focus on attracting foreign direct investment to Florida, trade relations and increasing Florida seaport activity. The sites are the second and third locations in Asia to host an official Enterprise Florida presence.

"We are opening these full-service offices to provide support to a growing number of Chinese companies interested in doing business in Florida. We will also serve Florida's small and medium-sized business as they seek to expand in the dynamic economies of China," said Secretary Swoope.

"Florida is America's success story. The state is continuing its strong recovery and provides an unmatched investment opportunity for Chinese companies looking to grow in the U.S."

Trade and investment ties between Greater China and Florida have grown in recent years as an increasing number of Chinese companies have sought inroads into Florida as a gateway to Latin America.

    China is Florida's #1 largest import market.
    China is Florida's #3 largest merchandise trading partner.
    China is the #1 customer for the Port of Miami in overall tonnage.
    More than 200,000 Chinese tourists visit Florida annually.
    Florida is #9 among states with a Chinese-American population.

Florida trade with Hong Kong has increased at a steady rate. The exports from Florida jumped by 41 percent to a total of $1.3 billion in 2013, making Hong Kong the number one Asian export destination for Florida. 
"The presence of Enterprise Florida in Hong Kong shows that our city is important as a trade and financial centre in Asia Pacific region.

With excellent international connectivity and proximity to Mainland China, Hong Kong will continue to stand out in the region as a strategic location for businesses and government bodies," said Mr. Simon Galpin, Director-General of Investment Promotion, Invest Hong Kong.

A number of Hong Kong and Shanghai-based companies have established business activities in Florida due in part to its industrial capabilities, easy access to the U.S. and Latin American markets, and port facilities.

In addition, Florida and China share a number of targeted economic sectors, including those related to financial and professional services         <http://www.enterpriseflorida.com/industries/financial-professional-services/>        , logistics & distribution         <http://www.enterpriseflorida.com/industries/logistics-distribution/>        , http://www.enterpriseflorida.com/industries/life-sciences/ and information technology         <http://www.enterpriseflorida.com/industries/information-technology/>        .

Funding for both sites was approved in the 2013 Legislative budget. With the addition of the China offices, EFI now has 12 international offices         <http://www.enterpriseflorida.com/international/international-offices/>         working to bring foreign direct investment and trade opportunities to Florida. 

During Secretary Swoope's visit to Hong Kong and Shanghai, he met with more than 50 business and community leaders to encourage increased foreign direct investment and trade relations from Chinese companies in Florida.

Read more about Florida's relationship with China:
    Florida/China Business Brief         <https://www.enterpriseflorida.com/wp-content/uploads/China-Florida-FDI-Brief-02.2014.pdf>       
    Florida Merchandise Trade with China         <http://www.enterpriseflorida.com/wp-content/uploads/profile-fl-top-trade-partners-china.pdf>       
    Florida International Business Highlights         <https://www.enterpriseflorida.com/wp-content/uploads/florida-international-business-highlights-march-2014.pdf>