Florida strengthens its position as a launch pad for Latin American success
Despite facing its fair share of recent political and economic upheaval, an expanding middle class and large consumer base mean Latin America remains a market of interest and potential growth for enterprises across an array of industries.
For those eager to capitalise on these opportunities, setting up a regional hub of operations is essential, but selecting a location for fostering relationships with partners across an array of geographies and cultures is no easy task.
When choosing a strategic location, factors including physical proximity, workforce, infrastructure and regulatory environment must be carefully considered. As Investment Monitor reported earlier this year, however, the region remains in need of “a supply-side revolution”, with rigid labour regulations, poor competition laws, regressive taxation and bloated public sectors among the contributing factors stifling private enterprise.
Given these challenges – and the fact that more than 70% of its total global exports ($50.1bn in goods) goes to Latin America – it is hardly surprising that a growing number of enterprises are looking towards Florida as a base of operations, enabling them to establish an LAM presence, while mitigating risk and ensuring stability.
A gateway to Latin America
The Sunshine State is known for its business-friendly regulations and low tax rates and Florida has a long-standing track record when it comes to reaching Latin American markets, with nearly one-third of all US exports to Latin America and the Caribbean shipped from or through the state.
The state is home to the Latin American headquarters of a multitude of global corporations, including Microsoft, Marriott International, and Ricoh, but is also attracting a growing number of smaller enterprises, including in the tech start-up space, looking to grow their regional presence.
Offering more direct, non-stop flights to both regions than any other US state, Florida is well-positioned to manage regional business. Executives in Miami can reach Mexico City, Bogota and Panama City in approximately three and a half hours, as well as flying to New York City or Chicago in just three hours.
A lot of those journeys are taken onboard a Delta Air Lines aircraft. Together with airline partners Aeromexico, Air France KLM, Virgin Atlantic and SkyTeam, Delta offers connectivity from South Florida to all major markets around the world.