TALLAHASSEE, Florida - Florida Secretary of Commerce and president & CEO of Enterprise Florida, Gray Swoope, traveled to China this week to open business development offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai. The offices will focus on attracting foreign direct investment to Florida, trade relations and increasing Florida seaport activity. The sites are the second and third locations in Asia to host an official Enterprise Florida presence.
“We are opening these full-service offices to provide support to a growing number of Chinese companies interested in doing business in Florida. We will also serve Florida’s small and medium-sized business as they seek to expand in the dynamic economies of China,” said Secretary Swoope in a release.
According to Enterprise Florida, trade and investment ties between Greater China and Florida have grown in recent years as an increasing number of Chinese companies have sought inroads into Florida as a gateway to Latin America.
Twelve minutes into the above video, Brevard County Commission Chairwoman Mary Bolin-Lewis was upbeat about the prospect of Florida wages becoming on par with Communist Chinese labor costs. During her controversial trip to Hong Kong, Singapore, and China on an Enterprise Florida and Economic Development of Florida's Space Coast visit last month, she spoke with a representative for a Chinese company that refurbishes aircraft.
"Right now, it's not an option for them to consider us [because of wage levels on Florida's Space Coast]," Bolin-Lews said during a County Commission meeting. "But the statement made by him was that the time was coming very quickly where the wage level in the United States is going to be equal to the wage level in China. Meaning that, we are going to be able to market more industry back into the United States because of the level field changing. So that was very encouraging."