Florida Trend Web Jan 2014 : Page 24

> International INTERNATIONAL BRIEFS ARGENTINA — Argentine art dealer Daniel Maman will open his first U.S. gallery, Maman Gallery, in Miami’s Design District. 78% of Japanese imports into Florida are cars and trucks. JAPAN Expanding Opportunities Florida’s links with Japan date back at least as far as the early 20th century, when Florida authorities and Henry Flagler recruited young Japanese men in an attempt to cre-ate a farming community in southeast Florida. The Yamato Colony never truly got off the ground, and World War II put an end to all efforts. Eventually, the land on which it sat became the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach. The 2010 Census showed about 13,224 people of Japanese descent still in the state. Japan, meanwhile, is one of only two countries outside of Latin America among Florida’s top 10 trading partners (along with Switzerland). Ninety-two percent of the $7.3 billion in trade that the state conducted with its No. 8 trading partner in 2012 was in imports. In fact, the Asian nation ranks behind only China among top import sources into Florida, and the value of those imports rose by nearly 20% during 2012. Some 78% of those imports are cars and trucks. As a first step toward expanding the relationship, Gov. Rick Scott led a small trade mission to the nation in Novem-ber — making him the first sitting governor to visit Japan in 16 years. Economic development officials hope renewed relationship-building efforts will lead to more foreign direct investment in Florida from Japanese companies, an esti-mated 119 of which already have operations in the state. CUBA — Tampa International Airport became only the second U.S. city (besides Miami) to offer direct flights to three Cuban cities when ABC Charters added flights to Santa Clara’s Abel Santamaria Airport to its existing flights to Havana and Holguin. >> The Cuban government announced that it plans to end the two-tier currency system that has been in place since 1994. The system divided the nation’s currency into the convertible peso, which is pegged to the U.S. dollar and used for tourist and foreign-trade transactions, and the national peso, which most Cubans use. The convertible peso is the only currency most stores and restaurants accept. It is worth 25 times more than the national peso but is accessible almost exclusively to Cubans with official ties or those in the tourist industry who receive tips. GUINEA — Leone Asset Management , based in Panama City Beach, purchased Guinea Investment Bank of Guinea in West Africa. The company will change the bank’s name to JP Anderson to continue the branding and expansion of Leone Asset’s subsidiary JP Anderson in West Africa. ITALY — West Palm Beach-based sugar refiner and marketer ASR Group purchased 50% of Italy-based SFIR Raffineria di Brindisi, Europe’s second-largest sugar cane refinery, from ED&F Man. It also purchased half of Euro SFIR Italia, which sells sugar from the refinery in Italy. ASR is owned by Florida Crystals and Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida. LATIN AMERICA — Technology conference eMerge Americas , which will be held in May in Miami Beach, will host the region’s top technology incubators and accelerators for a Demo Day Challenge. Participants will include NXTP Labs from Argentina, 21212 from Brazil, Startup Chile, INNpulsa and HubBog from Colombia and Angel Ventures of Mexico. MEXICO — Miami Lakes-based ERBA Diagnostics , which develops and sells in-vitro diagnostics equipment, opened a subsidiary in Mexico City, where it anticipates that the market for diagnostics will grow at about 15% per year. QATAR — Qatar Airways will begin four weekly non-stop flights between Miami International Airport and Doha, Qatar, in June. The airline serves only five other cities in the U.S. — none of them in the southeastern part of the country. Gov. Rick Scott led a trade mission to Japan in November. Education IE University , one of Spain’s most highly regarded business schools, plans to launch an advanced management executive education program in Miami this year. The for-profit school will conduct the program in both Spanish and English. 24 JANUARY 2014 FLORIDATREND.COM

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