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International Trade: A Sustainable Plan for a New Workforce

As one of the export giants in the U.S. - ranking eighth out of fifty states - a large portion of exports to Latin America and the Caribbean leave out of one of the fifteen cargo ports on the coast of Florida. About 40% of South Florida’s workforce is bilingual, giving the region a unique advantage in this hemispheric trading. This was reinforced in the early 2000s as several Latin American companies established their headquarters in Miami-Dade County, making it the “Gateway to the Americas.” 

Leading exports are primarily technological, inclusive of aircraft and engines, while also expanding to include more oil, gas, agricultural, and forestry products. 

Not only has global commerce been a trend towards preventing economic recession, but it has been a continuous source of job growth - setting new export records since 2010. As early as a decade ago, the Department of Transportation and Florida Chamber Foundation published logistics studies outlining the potential for Florida to become the ultimate crossroads for trade lanes coming from any direction in the most heavily utilized ocean and airspace. 

Transporting Trade Goods

The Miami International Airport (MIA), Port of Miami, and The World Trade Center Miami have a huge economic impact on their own. The MIA ranks first for international freight, and first for international travelers, many of whom are a part of the 25 international trade offices and 32 binational chambers of commerce established in the county. The presence of two free trade zones makes it efficient to import and export, and the associated commercial shipping out of MIA is rated highly for its logistics and sustainability.

MIA recently completed its Sustainability Project Phase II in November of 2020, which cost approximately $45 million.

The Miami-Dade Aviation Department and Florida Power and Light Services installed:

- Energy-efficient lighting
- Domestic water and heating 
- Ventilation
- Air-conditioning (HVAC) upgrades

This will decrease the airport’s electric bill by 10% and generate at least $60 million in savings over 15 years. It also set the bar as the largest energy conservation project in the entire eastern U.S. region. 

For companies that have placed management hubs in South Florida, they have strategically factored in talent, regulations, infrastructure, quality of life, and access to market opportunities. As more multinational corporations establish their second homes in South Florida, international trade continues to thrive, and the region becomes more diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

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