The West Palm Beach, Florida skyline reflected over a body of water
April 24, 2023

Governor Ron DeSantis Holds Roundtable with Japanese Business Leaders to Kick Off International Business Development Mission

TOKYO, Japan — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis, along with Florida Secretary of Commerce Laura DiBella, Florida Secretary of State Cord Byrd, and Enterprise Florida Vice Board Chair Freddie Figgers, led a roundtable discussion with Japanese business leaders from KEIDANREN (Japan Business Federation).

Additionally, the Governor and NTT Data, an information technology and consulting company located in Tokyo, have established a partnership to provide Florida university students with a one-week internship. NTT Data will host the students at their headquarters in Tokyo and as part of the internship, students will have the opportunity to interact with business executives and learn about a multi-faceted global business.

To watch the roundtable, click here.

“Florida leads the nation in new business formations because of our pro-business and pro-freedom policies that drive the economy forward and attract business investment from across the globe,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “I look forward to continuing to build strong business relationships with Japanese companies who want to do business in Florida.”

“We are honored to participate in this significant business development mission alongside Governor DeSantis,” said Laura DiBella, Florida Secretary of Commerce and President & CEO of Enterprise Florida. “We are incredibly appreciative of all the business leaders who took the time to meet with us today as the visit proved to be invaluable. We look forward to further strengthening our partnership with the Japanese business community.”

Florida and Japan’s Economic Relationship

Florida serves as a convenient base for Japanese companies wishing to expand into the Southeastern US and into the Latin America and Caribbean region. Japan is the 6th largest foreign investor in Florida, with more than 200 Japanese companies employing more than 22,000 Floridians with holdings totaling more than $5.2 billion. Bilateral trade between Florida and Japan exceeds $6.6 billion annually, making it Florida’s 2nd largest bilateral merchandise trade partner in the Asia-Pacific region and Florida’s 7th largest partner overall.

In 2022, Japan imported approximately $636 million in goods from Florida seaports and airports. Automobiles and related products account for almost 81% of all exports from Japan to Florida, with the Port of Jacksonville consistently serving as one of the top three ports for unloading Japanese vehicles for the United States. Additionally, auto parts from Japan are shipped through Florida’s distribution centers to part centers throughout the United States.

Florida is home to more than 200 Japanese firms that invest billions in the Florida economy. Leaders from ANA Holdings Inc., Bridgestone Corporation, Canon Inc., Dai-ichi Life Holdings, Inc., Fujitsu Future Studies Center Ltd., Hino Motors Ltd., HIREC, Hitachi Ltd., Hitachi Research Institute, Honda Motor Co. Ltd., ITOCHU Corporation, Japan Airlines Co. Ltd., Japan Institute for Overseas Investment, Japan Machine Tool Builders’ Association, Japan-China Economic Association, Marubeni Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., Mitsui & Co. Ltd., Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd., Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co. Ltd., Mizuho Bank Ltd., Mizuho Research & Technologies Ltd., MUFG Bank Ltd., NEC Corporation, NEC Space Technologies Ltd., Nippon Life Insurance Company, NS Solutions Corporation, Okaya & Co. Ltd., Shimizu North America LLC, SoftBank Group Corp., Sojitz Corporation, Subaru Corporation, Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd., Sumitomo Forestry Co. Ltd., Taisei Corporation, Teijin Limited, The Society of Japanese Aerospace Companies (SJAC), Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co. Ltd., Toshiba Corporation, Toyota Motor Corporation, and Toyota Tsusho Corporation were in attendance.