Orange County Government, Florida
31 March 2014
Orange County Celebrates Grand Opening of Central Florida International Trade Office

Mayor Jacobs joins the ribbon cutting ceremony of the Central Florida International Trade Office
at the National Entrepreneur Center.

Orange County, FL – Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and representatives from JPMorgan Chase & Co. celebrated the grand opening of the Central Florida International Trade Office (CFITO) at the National Entrepreneur Center on Friday morning.

“The creation of CFITO will enable Orange County companies to tap into key trading markets and expand their export opportunities,” said Mayor Jacobs. “We’re also improving efficiency and streamlining the process for foreign investors to help them connect with local partners to establish local operations.”

CFITO is a regional hub for foreign entrepreneurs and international companies interested in doing business in Central Florida. The CFITO office is now open at the National Entrepreneur Center at Orlando Fashion Square and serves as a central location for connecting the global trading community to local companies. CFITO also supports small businesses looking to export goods and services through international partnerships and resources.

This one-year pilot program was made possible by a $65,000 contribution from Orange County and a dollar-per-dollar matching grant from JP Morgan Chase.

“Central Florida is already a global leader in tourism,” said Jerry Ross, Executive Director of the NEC. “As we develop a greater awareness of our region’s business opportunities, Orange County is positioning our region as the ideal hub for international trade in the Americas.”

CFITO will improve the efficiency of routing and directing inquiries by potential international trading partners, while leveraging our region’s existing network of support organizations to assist local businesses who want to explore international trade opportunities.

As of August 2013, Florida’s total merchandise trade exceeded $105 billion, with $3.9 billion originating from the Orlando–Kissimmee–Sanford region.

Photos from the event are available for use by the media and are located on Flickr.