Hosting Global Trade Partners & Business Leaders October 14, 2014

Our inaugural FLIBS luncheon hosting international trading partners takes place this year. For starters, it’s a formal way to thank the trading facilitators for helping generate business beyond our respective boundaries. A dozen general consuls from some of our top marine export destinations will be there including: Brazil, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, France, Italy, Japan, Mexico, The Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Germany, Turkey, Holland, and the United Kingdom. In addition to these trading partners, other global companies present at the boat show hail from Australia, The Bahamas, Belize, Belgium, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, China, Hong Kong, Monaco, New Zealand, South Africa, St. Maarten, Sweden, and Taiwan.

Earlier this year, a trade agreement was enacted between the MIASF and the Barcelona Nautical Cluster to promote and enhance marine-related businesses, including trade, events and boating lifestyles. Of note, Spain’s top import from Florida is yachts and pleasure craft.

Italy is a good example of the power of trade between our respective marine industries. The U.S. represents Italy’s primary marine trading partner outside of the EU both in terms of exports and imports. The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Pleasure Boat International Resource Guide points to exports of new and used motorboats, sailboats, inflatable boats and motors, plus safety devices and electronics as prime export categories. Over 100 U.S. motorboat manufacturers are present in the Italian market.

In terms of Italian exports, the country is known for production of recreational craft, accessories and motors, and for quality and craftsmanship. According to the International Resource Guide, some of the larger and well-known boat brands include Benetti-Azimut, Fincantieri, Azimut-Benetti, Nuvolari Lenard (yacht designer), and Cantieri Mariotti (yacht production). Ferretti Group alone controls seven companies specializing in vessels from 8 to 90 meters in length.

The lunch gathering on the show’s first day, which will include regional business leaders, entrepreneurs and Broward County and City of Fort Lauderdale elected officials, is to remind that Southeast Florida is the premiere International Marine Hub to the World. Our location makes us an excellent place to visit plus a fine setting to establish a satellite facility, and a resource to help offshore businesses succeed on our soil, their home soil or export destinations they want to reach by passing through our back yard. Partners in this effort are the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau and Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance.

Improving trading relationships may not result from a single act of goodwill or a chicken salad sandwich. If the vision of enjoying and spreading success beyond our shores can be enhanced by getting interaction among the important players, it’s worth doing. FLIBS is an extraordinary venue to do just that.

Note: Details on Italian market from Pleasure Boat International Resource Guide, 2014, USDOC – U.S. Commercial Service & NMMA.

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Marine Industries Association of South Florida. 221 SW 3rd Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312. Phone: 954.524.2733