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Tampa Bay Strategy: Grow International Trade, Jobs

Top officials from Tampa Bay business and economic entities joined U.S. Commerce Under Secretary Francisco Sanchez at the Port of Tampa on Monday, Feb. 6, to sign a Memo Of Intent (MOI) that serves to create collaborations and connections among trade exporters and government officials to build a business strategy that will attract more jobs to Tampa Bay.

"Individually none of us has the potential to fulfill and carry out on a sustained level an international trade," says Stuart Rogel, president and CEO of the Tampa Bay Partnership. "But collectively we can sustain and focus on areas where we can bear fruit." 

The entities represented at the MOI signing include the International Trade Administration, Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners, the City of Tampa, and their partners, the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority, Small Business Development Center at the University of South Florida, the Tampa Bay Partnership, the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation, the University of South Florida, the University of Tampa and the Tampa Port Authority

"Not only is this a sign of the Tampa Bay community coming together to advance international activities," says Rogel. "But the under secretary's [presence] represents an administration that wishes to double export activity over the next five years. Sanchez talked about how they're on track to meet that goal, which is in line with Florida Gov. Scott's goal to expand the state's export activity. So we're seeing this [MOI signing] as consistent with efforts on a state and federal level."

The signing is in part an answer to President Obama's National Export Initiative (NEI) to double U.S. commercial exports by the end of 2014.

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Source: Stuart Rogel, Tampa Bay Partnership
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