Forty-one business leaders and elected officials from the Tampa Bay region traveled to Mexico from April 10-13, 2018 to participate in the export sales mission to the neighboring nation to the south. It was the first official mission conducted as Global Tampa Bay – the new name for the initiative formerly known as the Tampa Bay Export Alliance – established by the three economic development organizations to provide area companies with opportunities to increase their international footprint.
“The trade mission to Mexico City allowed our Tampa Bay companies to expedite their entry or expansion into the Mexican market,” said Mike Meidel, Director of Pinellas County Economic Development. “The organization of the events, and particularly the Gold Key appointments, ensured that participating businesses wasted no time in making key connections designed to increase exports and sales within this market.”
Fifteen local companies participated in the U.S. Commercial Service’s Gold Key Service (GKS) Matchmaker program, which provided customized one-on-one meetings with companies in Mexico. These Gold Key companies conducted approximately 80 meetings with potential customers that resulted in the actual and expected export sales.
“This mission was first class from start to finish,” said Michael Ferris, CEO of Tampa cybersecurity firm Abacode. “The quality of the prospect companies we met with and the program of receptions and events was remarkable. We came away with excellent leads and important new relationships that will help us make significant inroads in the Mexican market.”
“Tampa greatly values its relationship with our Sister City in Veracruz and with the people of Mexico,” said Mayor Buckhorn. “It was an honor to reaffirm our agreement and to meet with Secretary Videgaray to explore mutually beneficial opportunities for our region and Mexico. We are thankful to Mexican Consul Juan Jose Sabines Guerrero for arranging this valuable meeting with him.”
The export sales mission to Mexico was generously sponsored by Tampa International Airport, Port Tampa Bay, Enterprise Florida, Greenberg Traurig, and Shumaker Loop. These organizations also sent delegates who participated in the mission’s trade agenda.
“Mexico is a huge market for Port Tampa Bay,” said Wade Elliott, vice president of marketing and business development for Port Tampa Bay. “It’s already our second largest trading partner and impacts almost all our lines of business. We had some excellent meetings during this trade mission and believe we’ve only begun to scratch the surface on opportunities there. Mexico is a rapidly growing container market for us, and we have two direct weekly services from Port Tampa Bay and our new refrigerated warehouse shipping there. Tampa Bay exporters and importers have access to excellent shipping connections to Mexico right from their doorstep.”
About Global Tampa Bay
Global Tampa Bay is a cooperative effort between Pinellas County Economic Development, the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation and the Pasco Economic Development Council, established to help existing Tampa Bay companies to expand their sales in international markets and to assist foreign companies interested in establishing operations in the Tampa Bay region. Global Tampa Bay conducts joint export activities, such as seminars, trade events and trade missions, and supports the export-related growth initiatives of regional economic partners, including Tampa International Airport and Port Tampa Bay.