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MIA: The gateway of the Americas

Jun 27, 2019
Credit : GMI Post

Located in south Florida, Miami International Airport (MIA) is one of the country’s busiest airports, accommodating more than 100 carriers, offering more flights to Latin America than any other airport in the United States and serving 60 percent of all international visitors to Florida.

Having handled 45 million passengers in 2018, Miami International Airport is among the busiest gateways in the United States.

Having handled a record-breaking 45 million passengers last year, MIA is focused on improving its facilities, operations and route network in order to become one of the world’s top passenger and cargo terminals.

“We are looking at all angles. We’re revamping terminals and using advanced biometrics at security checkpoints to give passengers a better experience. For the airlines, we are looking at different strategies to decrease the cost per passenger and employee,” MIA Director and CEO Lester Sola said.

For its long-term growth, MIA recently gained local approval for a multi-billion-dollar capital program designed to modernize and expand its concourses, as well as add two new airport hotels.

As tourism and business continue growing in the southern United States, MIA has recognized the increasing importance of Asia, particularly Japan, to its operations. Every year, approximately 40,000 passengers pass through the airport on their way to and from Japan.

“A lot of these travelers are from Latin America and take multiple connecting flights to reach Japan. With Miami being the gateway to those countries, there’s definitely a market for a direct flight between the region and Japan,” Sola said.

Because of its strategic location, MIA also handles more than $400 million in cargo annually to and from Japan.

“Our trip to Japan back in 2018 showed us that our focus should be on the Japanese market. We would love to establish a direct service with Japan and look forward to building partnerships with them,” Sola said.

Power generation through innovation

Jun 27, 2019
Credit : GMI Post

As its parent company secured global market share leadership for heavy-duty gas turbines last year, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas, Inc. (MHPS Americas) is not resting on its laurels. Since the formation of the joint venture of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and Hitachi Ltd. in 2014, MHPS Americas has seen its profits grow.

MHPS' Savannah Machinery Works is the comprehensive manufacturing, service and repair center for gas turbines, steam turbines and generator rotors.

“The industry is very competitive. We have strong competitors such as GE and Siemens, which have been in the market for a long time. To achieve what we have in just four years is an accomplishment we are very proud of,” MHPS Americas President and CEO Paul Browning said.

MHPS Americas gained leadership in the region because of its innovative products and customer-focused strategy. And determined to create more value for its customers, it is adopting artificial intelligence (AI) technology into its products.

“AI is a big aspect of the future of the company. The machines that we build require a lot of maintenance. By incorporating AI technology, these machines will be optimized to operate at the highest performance,” Browning said.

MHPS Americas also plans to open the world’s first autonomous power plant in 2020. It launched a new business division, Power and Energy Solutions, which will focus on developing comprehensive solutions through technology, industry partnerships and customer collaboration.

As MHPS Americas increases its market share in Latin America, the company began hiring local staff, who are trained and supported by Japanese counterparts.

“We want to stay true to our Japanese roots, but also understand the business culture of these areas. Using this structure aligns the strengths of both cultures and allows us to properly serve our customers,” Browning said.

MHPS Americas should continue to dominate the power generation market following its record-breaking profits last year and new orders expected to reach $2 billion by the end of this year.

Florida: the place for space

Jun 27, 2019
Credit : GMI Post

Florida’s Space Coast is experiencing a resurgence in activity. Among the top ­ five U.S. states for aerospace employment and home to more than 17,000 aerospace-related companies, Florida’s aerospace sector has contributed $17.7 billion dollars to the local economy.

As the aerospace industry evolves rapidly, Florida has a larger mission: to be the world’s top launch pad for space flight.

Space Florida, the state’s spaceport authority responsible for the development of its aerospace industry, is promoting existing opportunities and developing projects that will expand the business across the state.

The first Falcon Heavy Launch in Feb 2018 from Launch Complex 39A at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport

“There is a new space race upon us. Human space exploration is back with NASA pushing a return to the moon. Satellite technology is continually advancing in order to bring better connectivity through bandwidth speeds,” President and CEO Frank DiBello said.

While Florida’s aerospace industry was once largely reliant on federal funding, the state has strengthened its position by developing its commercial space sector.

Among the companies that have built facilities in the area are SpaceX, Blue Origin, Boeing and OneWeb.

“The future of aerospace is in public private partnerships. Technology in the private sector is developing at a much more rapid rate. Space is still a largely untapped market that private companies want to pursue,” said DiBello.

Space Florida is making sure that it can support future growth in the industry by increasing the capacity of launch facilities, advanced manufacturing in rockets, satellites and spacecraft, improving manpower training and providing innovative financial tools.

As more aerospace companies locate to Florida, the state seeks more overseas partnerships. In 2017, several leading Japanese aerospace companies and representatives from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency attended the first Florida- Japan Aerospace and Aviation Summit.

“We’re very open to work with the Japanese. Their strong presence in robotics and artificial intelligence is an area in which we see strong synergy,” DiBello said.

Pasco EDC delegation visits Japan

Jun 27, 2019
Credit : GMI Post

A delegation from Pasco Economic Development, led by President and CEO Bill Cronin, returned to Tokyo in April to persuade more Japanese companies to invest in Florida’s Pasco County, which has access to a skilled workforce of more than 1.5 million and provides the optimum location to reach both the U.S. and Latin American markets.

Pasco EDC President and CEO Bill Cronin meets with officers of the Japanese transportation conglomerate Subaru in Japan.

Founded over 30 years ago, Pasco EDC offers site location assistance, tax incentives and expedited processing of permits for companies interested in operating in Pasco County. The organization has unveiled several build-ready sites with a total area exceeding 725 hectares.

“We’re one of the longest-operating economic development organizations in the state. One of the things that makes our organization unique is our incubator program, which includes soft landing programs for international companies,” Cronin said.

With its stable, pro-business leadership, Florida is ranked fourth in terms of tax climate in the United States. Companies that have moved to the state cite low operating costs and zero personal income tax as the most bene­ficial perks.

“Another program that is unique to our organization is the Pasco Pipeline, wherein we align workforce and employer needs with the employment workforce training agencies. We communicate with the employers so that we can easily create a program for them,” said Cronin.

Through its on-the-job training grants, as well as primary and post-secondary curricula for various industries, Pasco EDC is able to attract highly qualified workers to the area. It also works closely with many innovators in industry to come up with customized solutions to build a resilient business community.

Southern USA 2019 was prepared for and originally printed in The Japan Times Newspaper.

PDF of the printed report

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