International Trade Mission and Principles
Collaborate and work closely with federal, state, local, international and public/private resources to attract, recruit, retain and expand businesses into Broward County by:
- Utilizing economic and small business development databases for lead generation;
- Referring businesses for incentive or other financial tools to grow companies;
- Referring firms to explore opportunities in doing business with Broward County;
- Hosting, partnering and/or participating in both inbound and outbound trade missions; and
- Training and educating companies to become export-ready and assisting countries in one-on-one matchmaking with Broward County companies.
Within Broward County government, the Office of Economic and Small Business Development, Port Everglades, Aviation and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) are the lead agencies for developing the international trade program, subject to the approval of the Board of County Commissioners. While each agency has its own specific responsibilities and authority, we collaborate on the following:
- Developing an overall County trade strategy for the Board of County Commissioners approval.
- Designating and developing the infrastructure for potential sites for foreign consulates.
- Developing and strengthening the infrastructure for an inventory of Broward County's services. (i.e., Customs)
- Developing working relationships with the private and other public sector entities within County, State and Federal government.
- Developing and advocating County trade initiatives to be approved by the Board of County Commissioners.
- Evaluating and improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the County's trade service delivery system.
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Broward County international business assistance should incorporate the following elements in order to be effective and sustainable:
- County activities should complement and integrate the trade and investment activities of other organizations within the County. Trade partnerships are essential with the County, the private sector, the State of Florida and the federal government. The County is the logical entity to provide the leadership and support to enable export-ready firms to access trade information and counseling.
- The County's international business development program should commit to continuity of a core level of effort in overseas markets as successful international business relationships must be built over the long term. The County is represented quite well in this area through aggressive marketing by Port Everglades, Aviation and the CVB.
- The County should adopt those key markets already identified by Enterprise Florida, Inc. that have been proven to have a successful track record. This will alleviate duplicating and overextending efforts to cover all world markets. Within each targeted international market, assistance should focus on the sectors that represent the greatest potential for the County for increased trade and investment. In essence, County activities must reflect both instate capacity and international market demand. For example, in Asia, the concentration is on high technology, tourism, and agriculture and food products.
- The County must focus on providing assistance to those qualified firms that are staffed, financed and committed to marketing and transacting sales overseas.
- County activities should be flexible and incorporate constant evaluation and reevaluation so that programs do not continue beyond their usefulness since international markets are generally fluid and fast-moving. The County should provide those services that government is best positioned to provide, and its trade activities should be chosen to yield the maximum economic return to the County relative to the investment of public funds.
- The County must monitor commercial events in neighboring Caribbean and Latin American nations, to capitalize on trade opportunities as they emerge. Broward County's favorable geographic location and transportation infrastructure should strategically position its business community to be an important player, as any new market emerges. Staff should monitor events and provide briefing meetings to report any emerging opportunities and to determine potential commercial impact.
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