Since its establishment, facilitating and expanding Global Trade has been one of the strategic goals of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber’s predecessor, the Miami Board of Trade and the Merchant’s Association merged to become the Miami Chamber of Commerce in the early 1900s.
During the 1970s decade, The Chamber promoted the development of international commerce with Miami as the key connection between North and South America and the Americas, Asia, and Europe, seeking consular offices for those nations not already represented in Miami. Also during that decade, The Chamber established the Greater Miami Foreign Trade Zone, Inc. and received a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce to operate a foreign-trade zone in Miami. A decade letter, The Chamber influenced American Airlines to open an international hub at Miami International Airport.
With the start of the new century, Enterprise Florida’s Selection Committee for the Florida International Business Expansion Initiative approved $120,000 in funding for the Greater Miami Chamber’s international programs and initiatives. The Chamber’s Americas Linkage program – typically focused on business missions to Latin America and the Caribbean- headed to Toronto and Montreal, Canada for its historic first mission in North America, facilitating business development opportunities with our neighbors to the north. In addition, during those years, The Chamber spearheaded a joint effort with the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau to market Miami as an international healthcare destination and the ideal place for medical procedures and recuperation.
During the 2010s, The Chamber championed support for the Port of Miami dredge to ensure it would be ready for larger ships from the widening of the Panama Canal. Recognizing the potential for powerful economic development benefits, job growth and enhanced international tourism at the core of destination gaming, through its public policy process The Chamber developed a position approving conditional support of the establishment of destination gaming resorts in South Florida. Furthermore, it supported American Airlines’ new business restructure. Instrumental in convincing American Airlines to expand its operations in Miami 25 years earlier, The Chamber encouraged the restructuring process that would give the airline flexibility for growth.
Today, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce International Business and Consular Corps and Trade Representatives Committees focus on developing, maintaining, and expanding international business and trade opportunities that are of interest and value to Chamber members, local businesses and the community-at-large. It continues to increase trade members opportunities, encourage consulates, and trade offices to be actively engaged in promoting and facilitating international business with Chamber members, and expand international programming to create resilient opportunities for businesses. Known as the gateway to Latin America and the Caribbean, Greater Miami continues to play a vital role in the international commerce hub.