Last month, while it was pouring rain, some lucky people were attending the 1st Worldwide Symposium of the Foreign Trade Advisors of France in the Eden Roc Miami Beach. The purpose was to discuss the new global economical situation. The presence of major companies already operating in the US such as LVMH, Accor, Bouygues, Club Mediterranee, Air France, Dassault or Sanofi allowed newcomers to get some precious advices on how to succeed in the US.
The event has been by far the most important congress of French businesspeople in the US. Why do you think it took place in Miami? I hope it wasn’t for the sunshine! Actually, South Florida and the French economy share some similarities and this is mostly why Miami is so attractive to French businesses. Additionally, even in the actual economic downturn, Miami remains a very dynamic place with a lot of business opportunities.
One of the similitudes is tourism. France being a leading touristic destination, its national companies developed an excellent know-how which can be exported to Miami. The luxury goods industry is another interesting market for French businesses is South Florida. In 2011 Bal Harbour recorded more than $600 million of annual sales, and an average sales/sqft of $2,369 which is the highest one in the US! Moreover, the luxury market keeps growing in Miami. One of my favorite neighborhood, the Design District, is already a trendy location for design, art and food but is now becoming an upscale fashion destination as well. The neighborhood growth will certainly attract French luxury goods companies. In fact, Hermes, Cartier and Louis Vuitton amongst others have already planned to get a location in the Design District.
Finally as a personal note, after the Oscar performance, let’s keep an eye on the film industry in both places which doesn’t make a lot of noise but could surprise us…