SelectFlorida and Secretary of State Cord Byrd Lead Trade Mission to Japan

Oct 13, 2023

SelectFlorida and Secretary of State Cord Byrd Lead Trade Mission to Japan

~ Strengthening Commercial and Cultural Ties Between Florida and Japan~

Tokyo, Japan — This week, SelectFlorida, Secretary of State Cord Byrd and stakeholders visited Tokyo, Japan to strengthen commercial and cultural ties between the two populations. From October 8-14, Florida businesses, public universities, and stakeholders participated in SelectFlorida’s Business Development & Cultural Exchange Mission to Japan in conjunction with the 45th Annual Southeast U.S./Japan Association (SEUS-Japan). This visit continues to build on Governor Ron DeSantis’ April 2023 trade and cultural mission to Tokyo.

On this mission, SelectFlorida hosted a workshop called “Doing Business in Florida”, where attendees met with Japanese executives interested in Florida’s pro-business economy. Representatives also participated in cultural exchange events in Kyoto and Tokyo to highlight the longstanding special relationship between Japan and Florida.

“International trade missions are vital to bolstering and diversifying Florida’s economic ties and the SEUS-Japan meeting offers many opportunities to collaborate with Japanese business leaders, and connect Florida businesses with Japanese businesses and other southeastern U.S companies,” said Florida Secretary of Commerce J. Alex Kelly. “Florida continues to advance transportation infrastructure, connectivity, cultural ties, and the nation’s #1 talent development workforce – making Florida the ideal location for Japanese investment and trade.”

Today, delegates met with leading officials from Japan and Japanese business leaders. Florida delegates expressed their interest in maintaining and growing Florida’s strategic partnership with Japan as a country with the shared values of democracy, freedom, and a belief in the free market economy.

“This trade mission to Japan has only strengthened our great relationship,” said Secretary of State Cord Byrd. “As Chief Cultural Officer and State Protocol Officer for Florida, I was honored to have meaningful conversations with many representatives, and I look forward to celebrating the growing relationship between our peoples.”

Florida’s 1.5 trillion-dollar economy is the 14th largest in the world—bigger than those of The Netherlands or Mexico, and about the same size as Spain’s. Home to more than 22 million residents, Florida is now the 3rd most populous U.S. state, with the fastest growing economy. This vast, market offers tremendous business opportunities for Japanese companies.

Japan is Florida's 7th largest merchandise trading partner, with trade reaching more than $6.6 billion annually. Florida is also home to more than 200 Japanese firms that have invested nearly $9 billion in the state and employ more than 22,000 Floridians. With decades of bilateral partnership, Florida has long been a preferred business location and gateway to Latin American and Caribbean markets for Japanese companies.

About SelectFlorida

SelectFlorida serves as a catalyst for economic development by promoting Florida as a premier business destination and expanding the state’s economy through private-sector job creation. As a public-private partnership of Florida’s business and government leaders, SelectFlorida facilitates job growth through recruitment and retention, business growth through international trade and exporting programs, promotion and protection of Florida’s military bases, and capital funding programs to assist small and minority businesses. 

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FloridaCommerce combines the state’s economic, workforce, and community development efforts, expediting economic development projects to fuel job creation in competitive communities and promote economic resiliency. For more information, including valuable resources for employers and job seekers, please visit


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