What a whirlwind my first couple months have been! I have met so many interesting people with great stories to tell since I joined CFITO at the beginning of November. What I appreciate most is how welcoming everyone has been and how they are willing to share their experience and expertise with me so that I can do the best job possible serving Central Florida businesses. I was gratified by the great attendance at the meet & greet that Jerry Ross held in my honor on October 24th, not just because so many people came out to meet me, but because of the commitment to international trade that it evidenced. I am so grateful to be able to be part of this community, and I invite you to let others know that I am here to help get people export – and import! – ready and link them with the available services and programs.
One of my key learnings that I want to share this month is with respect to the importance of logistics to international trade. Over the past month, I have visited the Port of Tampa Bay and Port Canaveral, and I also had the opportunity to experience the new Intermodal Terminal at the Orlando International Airport. This made me realize how truly blessed Central Florida is with a wealth of options to help move cargo (and people!). When you are considering whether it will be profitable to enter the global marketplace, don’t forget to think about how your product will reach the market you will take so much time and effort to cultivate. The CFITO can help you ask the right questions and help you find the people who will efficiently and safely move your cargo to market!
Speaking of markets, China has certainly been in the news lately. The President has imposed tariffs intended to open that market and to protect U.S. intellectual property rights in China, and China has retaliated in kind. Over $300 billion in bilateral trade is affected, with potentially more to come. You’re probably asking yourself: what exactly has happened? What does this mean to my business? The CFITO is asking these questions too, and we’re pleased to be able to convene a panel of China experts to answer them! More details are below, but I hope you’ll join us on November 29th for a workshop on doing business in China and that you’ll take advantage of the free, one-on-one sessions offered by Kimberly Kirkendall, President of International Resource Development, Inc. She has over 30 years of experience working in China and can help your company develop new business opportunities in China!
- Chris Leggett, CFITO Program Manager