Brett - Panama Mission

For more information about international business services, please contact:

Brett Simons
International Business Manager

(813) 518-2668


Tampa has a rich history as an international city. Generations ago immigrants from Cuba, Spain, Italy and Germany settled here. Today, the Tampa Bay area is home to 3 million people and it’s still a diverse international community that serves as a gateway for global business.

Nearly 500 foreign-owned companies representing nearly 40 nations operate in the Tampa area. Home to the state’s largest port, a top-rated international airport, and a strong talent pipeline, Tampa has the assets required to power the world’s leading corporations.

Why Tampa Bay is appealing to international companies:

  • Non-stop air service to more than 90 domestic and international destinations
  • Closest deep-water port to the Panama Canal
  • Largest port in the state
  • 34.5 million consumers within an 8-hour drive
  • Extensive and flexible foreign trade zone network
  • Conveniently located on the I-4 warehouse and distribution logistics corridor
  • Low business taxes, no state income tax
  • Cost of living below the U.S. national average
  • Talented and multilingual workforce
  • Home to nearly 80 colleges, universities and technical schools with a high percentage of international students


Our team works with international companies seeking to invest and create jobs in the Tampa Bay region. We help them navigate the complexities of choosing the right location, talent and infrastructure within the U.S.

“After carefully analyzing the market and business climate, we decided Tampa was the best place to start our United States operations. In addition to the warm welcome we have received, Tampa offers the strategic location we need from a distribution and international logistics point of view.”

– Amanda Cardoso Restrepo, CEO and Co-founder of Ekoa Brands

Tampa Bay is a top exporting location within the U.S.

Exporting helps companies increase sales, grow faster, increase profitability, and reduce risk. Through Global Tampa Bay, our regional collaboration effort with Pasco and Pinellas counties, we help local companies increase export sales by organizing trade missions to key international markets and connect them to available resources for export growth.

“The trade mission exceeded my expectations and I look forward to future export trips to Central America as it is a key market for our company. The selection of prospective customer meetings was right on target with our company’s core competencies. I also made great connections and identified other business opportunities through meetings with executives from the Panama Canal and local utility companies.”

– Jorge Diaz Lugo, international sales manager, Tampa Armature Works, Inc.

Our international business development team is standing by to help companies looking to enter the U.S. market, as well help local companies increase export sales in foreign markets.

#3 Most Cost-Friendly Business Location Among Large U.S. Cities


Global Tampa Bay

A regional collaboration to increase international business opportunities and market our region globally.

Welcome to Tampa Bay

From leading industries to national rankings, watch and see what makes Tampa the place to be.

Trade Mission to Brazil

This video highlights a past export sales mission to Brazil with Global Tampa Bay and seven local companies.