Gov. Rick Scott is currently in the middle of a seven-day trade mission to Brazil, one of the Sunshine State’s leading trade partners.
According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Brazil “is already Florida’s top export market. In 2010, exports led primarily by the shipment of civilian aircraft, engines and parts from Florida to Brazil were $13.7 billion, according to Enterprise Florida, the state’s economic development arm.
Businessweek adds that while in Rio De Janeiro, Scott visited the The Fair of the Americas, aka ABAV, the largest travel trade event in the Americas, which showcases “products, services and destinations of several exhibitors from all over the world to a highly qualified audience, looking for networking and business.”
Visit Florida, the state’s official tourism marketing corporation and “a not-for-profit that carries out the work of the Florida Commission on Tourism,” was an exhibitor at the Rio De Janeiro travel fair.
Enterprise Florida’s senior vice president of international trade and business development, Manny Mencia, told Businessweek ”that international trade is one of the state’s strongest economic sectors and accounts for 16 percent of the state’s economy and nearly 1 out of every 6 jobs. Florida is the nation’s fourth-largest exporter.”
Enterprise Florida is a private-public partnership that provides Florida businesses with “export counseling services” and helps “foreign companies interested in investing and/or doing business in Florida.” Scott is chairman of Enterprise Florida’s board of directors (.pdf), which includes Florida CFO Jeff Atwater, House Speaker Dean Cannon and more than 40 presidents and CEOs of private sector corporations.
According to Businessweek, the cost of the trip by Scott’s 200-member delegation, “including Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown, and officials from various Florida ports and airports and companies such as Disney,” will be covered by Visit Florida with state dollars. Enterprise Florida “would use private donations — not state money — for the expenses,” while Scott’s two aides and a security detail expenditures will be paid by the state.