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Lee County to serve as a host for 2019 International Trade Summit Aug. 26-29
August 9, 2019

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Lee County will be one of four host communities in Florida to welcome companies from seven countries as part of the second annual International Trade Summit.

Organized by The International Trade Hub at Port Manatee, the 2019 Global Business opportunity series will visit Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Bradenton / Sarasota and Tampa for one day each from Aug. 26-29.

The local event will be 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 27, in Conference Room 118 in the Administration East Building, 2201 Second St., Fort Myers. The co-hosts for the local event are the Lee County Economic Development Office, Southwest Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Southwest Regional Manufacturers Association. The sponsor is Seminole Gulf Railway.

International companies from Argen-tina, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Spain, Peru and more will feature wine, snack food, coffee, fruits, apparel, artisanal goods, merchandise companies and state-of-the-art cooking systems during the summit.

The International Trade Hub at Port Manatee, founded in 2014, serves as a vital link between markets in Florida and throughout the world. The hub provides expert advice and support tools to local and global firms, assisting them with production, distribution and related activities, including development of innovative supply chain solutions. The mission of the International Trade Hub at Port Manatee is to be the leading platform for global trade in Southwest Florida.

The Trade Hub works to assist participating companies in capitalizing upon the hundreds of commercial connections established during the multiple business-to-business events.

"Lee County is excited to welcome these international businesses and to be a part of this great opportunity. We look forward to promoting and expanding our diverse economy here in Lee County," said Lee County Commissioner Cecil Pender-grass, who is the Board of County Com-missioners' liaison to the Horizon Council.

John Talmage, director of the Lee County Economic Development Office, also is enthusiastic.

"We are supportive of the initiatives of the International Trade Hub at Port Manatee as an invaluable catalyst for introducing companies from throughout the world to the business-friendly environment of Southwest Florida and in helping our region's entrepreneurs make the most of productive global links," Talmage said.

The August outreach events build upon momentum gained through numerous visits to Port Manatee by high-level government and trade officials of such diverse nations as Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Hon-duras, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Poland and Spain.

Located "Where Tampa Bay Meets the Gulf of Mexico," Port Manatee is the closest U.S. deep water seaport to the expanded Panama Canal, with 10 40-foot-draft berths serving container, bulk, breakbulk, heavylift, project and general cargo customers. The port generates more than $2.3 billion in annual economic impact for the local community, while supporting more than 24,000 jobs, without levying ad-valorem taxes.

For additional information about ort Manatee, visit www.internationalhubportmanatee.com.

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