Businesses interested in learning more about why they should export and what is the local impact of trade now have a new tool to which they can turn: the Central Florida Export Report.
This first comprehensive report of export trade in the Metro Orlando area – namely, Lake, Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties – highlights the diverse markets served by the $3.6 billion (2018) in regional exports as well as the many sectors that are finding success abroad.
In drafting this benchmark Report, Central-North Florida DEC member and Central Florida International Trade Office (CFITO) Program Manager Chris Leggett found that if Orlando was a state, we would rank as the 45th largest exporter in the United States, ahead of Vermont and just behind New Mexico.
The region’s top export sectors are varied. Industrial machinery represents the region’s most important export sector, followed by electronics, automotive vehicles and parts, med-tech, and agriculture.
Orlando exported to 224 countries around the world in 2018, from Afghanistan ($2.5 million) to Zimbabwe ($91,464), to large markets like Canada ($238.8 million) and Brazil ($237.5 million) as well as to small ones like the Faroe Islands ($85 of taps & elevator parts) and Comoros (locks valued at $39).
The Report estimated that these exports support nearly 21,000 high-paying local jobs according to the export job estimator prepared by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA). The ITA also estimates exports contribute an additional 18% to workers’ earnings on average in the U.S. manufacturing sector.
The Export Report further highlights many Central Florida advantages, like easy access to three major ports and a world-class airport and the services available to local businesses thinking about getting started exporting.
Ultimately, the $3.6 billion in exports represents only part of the picture of how trade impacts the region. Even greater are the opportunities for small businesses to grow their sales through accessing the 95% of the world’s consumers and 75% of global wealth that reside outside the United States.
The Central-North Florida DEC definitely agrees: the world represents too large a market for Florida businesses to ignore!