April 16, 2024
Make, Market and Move

Florida's top assets

Make, Market and Move

| 1/17/2024

As a pathway to resiliency, Florida is home to several “industries of the future" — each of which helps to diversify the state’s economic base. Fact is, while many states compete to attract new business, few are able to match the scale and scope of both Florida’s breadth of industries and its array of related assets. And, although this prowess is spread widely across the state, the linchpin — the very underpinning — can be found in one convergent sector: Manufacturing, Trade and Logistics.

Florida’s manufacturers produce a wide variety of goods, including aerospace products and parts, boats, batteries, communication equipment, food and beverages, plastics, pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, textiles, and much more. All totaled, more than 24,000 manufacturing companies operate in the state — choosing to do business in Florida because of its pro-business policies, strong workforce, and access to domestic and global markets.

Advanced manufacturing is especially noteworthy, including microelectronics and semiconductors, aerospace and defense products, and medical equipment. Meanwhile, the semiconductor industry in particular is poised to grow.

Florida’s vibrant manufacturing scene points directly to the state’s robust trade activity and ready logistics. How important are manufacturing, trade and logistics to Florida’s economy? In 2020, they accounted for more than 1 million jobs statewide — the fourth highest total in the country. That means opportunities for every region of Florida, including rural and inland areas, which are poised for economic revitalization.

Regarding trade and logistics, this description comes from the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Florida Trade & Logistics 2030 Study. “As global supply chains change, Florida can be the big winner. … Florida has the available capacity to move more goods, make more goods and multiply these impacts throughout the economy. Globally competitive trade, logistics and manufacturing sectors will diversify Florida’s economy, bringing new jobs, income and investment into the state. Florida can propel its economy to one of the top 10 worldwide, and … Florida continues to move the needle toward its continued economic growth.”


No. 2 Manufacturing job growth since 2016

24K+ Manufacturing companies in Florida

380K Manufacturing industry employees

Global Trade
Florida boasts just the right mix of assets to facilitate both domestic and global trade: a multimodal infrastructure, a multilingual workforce, an impressive array of corporate and financial resources, and a strategic geographic location that is second to none. With 1,350 miles of coastline supporting 15 seaports, Florida’s connection to global trade easily stretches from Asia to the Americas and across the Atlantic.

Florida is home to more than 58,000 exporting companies — second only to California — and has the nation’s second largest Foreign Trade Zone network with 21 facilities statewide. In 2022, exports from Florida totaled $67.5 billion, up 21.1% from 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

As a leading international trade center and home to an extensive multimodal transportation system, Florida excels at moving people, products and services anywhere FAST!

Consider these assets for expeditiously getting people and products from point A to point B: Six commercially licensed spaceports, 15 seaports, 21 commercial service airports, 105 public-use airports, 2,700-plus miles of rail tracks, No. 1 air cargo with Latin American countries, No. 2 largest Foreign Trade Zone, No. 3 largest cluster of transportation and warehouse establishments in the U.S.

Those assets provide a seamless connection to the world, where on any given day goods flow back and forth in steady streams — raw materials to manufacturers, finished goods to warehouses, bulk shipments to sellers, products delivered via air, sea, rail and road to homes and businesses.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)
With its easy access to markets in Latin America and the Caribbean, a $1 trillion GDP and a population of 21.9 million, Florida remains a national leader in attracting global companies. Florida ranks No. 1 in the Southeast and No. 5 among all U.S. states in employment by majority foreign-owned firms. Also, its most populated city — Miami — is a leading U.S. center for international banking.

Further facilitating FDI are Florida’s EB-5 Regional Centers, which offer foreign residents the opportunity to obtain permanent U.S. residency while investing in Florida. And Florida’s population is both multiethnic and multilingual. Slightly more than 20% of the state’s population is foreign-born, and approximately 30% of households speak a language other than English at home.

Global Trade

$150B+ Goods enter or exit through U.S. customs in Florida annually

58K Export companies are located in Florida

No. 1 in the Southeast - Employment by majority foreign-owned firms in the U.S.


Florida's top assets


Tags: Business Florida, Competitive Assets

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