Lakeland, Fla, Feb. 6, 2017 – The Quebec-Florida Chamber of Commerce (CCQF) held its first trade mission in Central Florida on Wednesday, Feb. 1, highlighted by a visit to the campus of Florida Polytechnic University in Polk County. Hosted by the Polk Global Trade Alliance (PGTA), an initiative of the Central Florida Development Council (CFDC), and Florida Poly, the event introduced companies and entrepreneurs from Quebec to potential business partnerships in the rapidly growing Central Florida market.
“This is a mutual first for us all— the CFDC, PGTA, and the CCQF— to discover what we can accomplish together by bringing businesses to the flourishing region of Polk County,” said Marcel Racicot, president of the CCQF. “The geographic, demographic, and cultural ties of Florida and Quebec are already strong, so it is an exciting time to look at how we can make those ties stronger through potential partnerships in Central Florida.”
The morning opened with presentations from Polk County business and education leaders. After lunch and a tour of the campus, the group of about 40 broke into one-on-one meetings according to their specialties, including aerospace, high-tech, clean tech, business services, agriculture and construction.
“It was a pleasure to welcome the Quebec-Florida Chamber of Commerce to campus and learn more about all the exciting opportunities on the horizon,” said Dr. William Rhey, Florida Poly’s former associate vice president of entrepreneurship. “I see tremendous potential for growth and mutual success between our two regions.”
This trade mission kicks off the PGTA initiative’s efforts to reduce international trade barriers in Polk County.
“Many international companies are concerned about the unknown,” said Javier Marin, director of business development at the CFDC and PGTA. “They are unfamiliar with the nuances of navigating the foreign market, and that is why we are here — to help facilitate these opportunities.”
About the Quebec-Florida Chamber of Commerce:
The Quebec-Florida Chamber of Commerce (CCQF) supports and encourages the development of businesses established in Quebec and Florida, while promoting the regions’ economic and commercial relationship. In addition to the key relationship between Canada and the US as bilateral trade partners, the specific regions of Quebec and Florida have a strong economic relationship due to geographic, demographic and cultural ties. The Quebec-Florida Chamber of Commerce was launched in June 2009 to develop business relationships across these two regions. For more information on the CCQF, visit ccquebecflorida.com.
About the Polk Global Trade Alliance:
The Polk Global Trade Alliance was established in 2016 to assist in the facilitation of international export opportunities. Led by the CFDC Director of Business Development, Javier Marin, the PGTA is working with businesses, agencies, and foreign delegations to further international trade in Polk County. For more information, visit cfdc.org.
About the Central Florida Development Council:
The Central Florida Development Council (CFDC) is Polk County, Florida’s primary economic development organization. Led by President and CEO Sean Malott, the CFDC is responsible for recruiting new businesses to Polk County and helping existing Polk County businesses expand. Polk County is located between the Tampa and Orlando metro areas in Central Florida and includes 17 municipalities. For more information, visit cfdc.org.
About Florida Polytechnic University:
Florida Polytechnic University is the state’s only public university dedicated to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Located along Interstate 4 in the heart of Florida’s High-Tech Corridor in Lakeland, the university was created in 2012 to be a challenging academic institution as well as a strong resource for high-tech industries. For more information on Florida Poly, go to floridapoly.edu.
Assistant Director of Communications