"I call on Israelis to come and do business with us," said Governor of Florida Rick Scott at the "Globes" Israel Business Conference "Business Opportunities in Florida’s Global Economy" session yesterday. He added that he was making his first visit to Israel to do more business with Israel.
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai opened the session saying, "People from Florida feel comfortable in Tel Aviv. We have a similar climate and similar beaches. We even have the same number of Israelis."
"We came with a delegation of 30 businesspeople. Florida is the third most populous state in the US. It is a state focused on business, tourism, and agriculture. We also want to be the first state in the US to be friendly to entrepreneurs," said Scott.
Scott said that Florida was a good place to do business. "We're trying to create more jobs, to ensure a low tax rate, easy approval of projects, and preserve the environment. There is no individual income tax in Florida, the company tax is low, regulation is less strict, and the climate is similar to Israel's."
Scott added that Florida had a large and thriving Jewish business community. "I am a businessman and I know that to build a good business you need personal relationships."
"My job is to sell Florida to the world," said Enterprise Florida Inc. SVP International Trade and Business Development Manny Mencia. "They want to bring companies and businesses to Florida, mainly in order to create more and more new jobs."
Explaining why Florida is a magnet, Mencia said, "Today's Florida is a thriving business center, especially for high-tech companies. When you do business in Florida, you get two for the price of one: access to US markets, but equally access to rapidly growing markets in South and Central America. If we were an independent country, we'd be number 22 in terms of business activity."
Mencia believes that Florida could be a convenient target for Israeli companies because of its wide diversity of industries. "Agriculture, but also a life sciences industry that is one of the state's growing industries. There is also aerodynamics and aerospace."
Space Florida VP business development Bernard McShea talked about the state's aerodynamics industry. "Space Florida is an independent authority financed by the state and private parties. The authority has a commercial character, and its role is to provide support and assistance for industry. Just recently, we made a deal with Lockheed Martin, and we're responsible for financing 25% of the development to take place in Florida. We believe that this is an important key sector."
"Every year, top quality personnel retire from the US Air Force and seek work in the private sector. Let's do business," he added.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 12, 2011
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