Following a two-year hiatus, the Southeast U.S./Japan Association and counterpart Japan-U.S. Southeast Association held its first in-person Annual Joint Meeting in Miami in early November. The four-day event came at an auspicious time for this year’s host.
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Florida has experienced a boom in its property, financial services, tourism sectors, to name just a few, which further strengthened its economy, which in 2018, broke the $1 trillion GDP ceiling.
Based on that achievement, if the state of 21 million people were a separate economy, Florida would be among the world’s 15 richest economies, Southeast U.S-Japan Association Executive Director Dave Miller Woodward pointed out.
“Japan remains a key economic partner. It is the largest foreign direct investor overall in the United States and has ranked consistently as one of the top foreign direct investor countries in Florida, alongside Canada, the UK, and Germany. Beyond the business ties, Japan is truly a great friend and ally to the United States,” Woodward told GMI POST.
This year, more than 200 Japanese companies can be found across Florida while, according to Woodward, foreign direct investment from Japan has so far exceeded $10.6 billion. Because of the robust trade between Florida and Japan, cargo services and logistics are among the best performing sectors, with Japanese-owned Nippon Express leading the competition.
In performing its mission, the delegation works closely with the Governor’s Office, the Florida Department of State, Enterprise Florida, and local economic development organizations.
Founded in 1976, the Southeast U.S./Japan Association comprises eight members – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia – with each assuming leadership of the group for two years and co-hosting, with its Japanese counterpart group, the annual meeting in their home state.
With the Japan/Southeast Association, Florida will act as co-host of the 45th Annual Meeting in Tokyo next year.