As Miami-Dade prepares to celebrate World Trade Week, it’s a good time to reflect on how international business drives the South Florida economy.
Customers choosing a color for their new leather sofa or contemplating a coffee table made from a fallen log in the Amazon may not think their shopping sprees at Artefacto have much to do with international trade.
But Artefacto, a Brazilian furniture manufacturer, has imported more than 700 containers of furniture and decorative objects over the past nine years for its local showrooms in the Village of Merrick Park and Aventura.
Or consider a wedding in the Caribbean island of St. Vincent where everything — from rings to dress — was ordered online and delivered courtesy of a Miami freight consolidator that specializes in online shipments.
This year, imports and exports moving through South Florida ports are expected to top $100 billion for the first time, but the impact goes far beyond containers and boxes moving through local airports and seaports.
As South Florida prepares to celebrate World Trade Week, which begins Thursday, advocates point out that international commerce is interwoven into just about every aspect of the local economy. In South Florida, retail, ecommerce, tourism, real estate, banking and financial services, transportation, logistics, law, investment and even education all benefit from the area’s strong ties to the international marketplace.
“International business creates all these multiplier effects and that’s not captured if you simply look at international trade numbers,’’ said Jerry Haar, associate dean of international programs at Florida International University’s College of Business Administration. “People use trade as shorthand for all international business.’’
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Read: “Local economy revolving more around world trade,“ an article by MiamiHerald.com.