Florida’s governor wants more business with Israel

“People from Florida feel comfortable in Tel Aviv, we have a similar climate and similar beaches," TA mayor says.

By BATYA FELDMAN/GLOBES
December 12, 2011 23:14
2 minute read.
Tel Aviv tayelet

Tayelet Tel Aviv beach hotels_311. (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)

 
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“I call on Israelis to come and do business with us,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott said at a panel discussion entitled “Business Opportunities in Florida’s Global Economy” at the Globes Israel Business Conference on Sunday.

Scott said he was making his first visit to Israel to do more business with Israel.

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“People from Florida feel comfortable in Tel Aviv,” Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai said at the session. “We have a similar climate and similar beaches. We even have the same number of Israelis.”

“We came with a delegation of 30 businesspeople,” Scott said. “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.”

Florida is a good place to do business, he said, adding: “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 said Florida has a large and thriving Jewish business community.

“I am a businessman and I know that to build a good business you need personal relationships,” he said.



Manny Mencia, Enterprise Florida Inc.’s senior vice president for international trade and business development, said: “My job is to sell Florida to the world. They want to bring companies and businesses to Florida, mainly in order to create more and more new jobs.”

“Today’s Florida is a thriving business center, especially for hi-tech companies,” he said. “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 said Florida could be a convenient target for Israeli companies because of its wide diversity of industries.

“[We have] agriculture, but also a lifesciences industry that is one of the state’s growing industries,” he said. “There is also aerodynamics and aerospace.”

Space Florida vice president for business development Bernard McShea talked about the state’s aerodynamics industry.

“Space Florida is an independent authority financed by the state and private parties,” he said. “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 percent 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,” McShea said. “Let’s do business.”

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