Chinese foreign direct investment had skyrocketed from $4.7 billion in 2010 to $46.69 billion in 2016, but was falling under the Trump administration and the trade tensions. In 2018, APCO was appointed by Enterprise Florida (EFI), the principal trade and economic development organization for Florida, to represent the state in China and attract foreign direct investment and help Florida companies to expand their trade with the Greater China region.
APCO developed a strategic business plan for EFI to deliver tangible results and meet our key performance indicators in a challenging economic climate. The plan focused on championing industry excellence, educating American exporters on the Chinese market landscape, and positioning Florida as an ideal business destination for Chinese companies. Our engagement not only targeted specific companies, but also included building relationships and strengthening engagement with important multiplier organizations, such as chambers of commerce, government entities, and trade associations.
Over the successful first year of the partnership, APCO has made significant progress in building a sustainable pipeline of potential investors from China. We have also laid a strong foundation for lead generation and sales conversion by strengthening the bilateral trade relationship through multiple targeted events and trade shows, as well as launching a series of comprehensive marketing tools to promote Florida. Between 2018 and 2019, we represented Florida at over 20 trade- and investment-related events, built connections with over 100 stakeholders from government, media, and business, assisted 16 Florida companies in expanding their trade with China, developed a database of 42 potential investors, and identified seven potential investment leads.