A 22 percent increase in foreign-owned companies in the Tampa Bay area is boosting the region's focus on international business.
A study by the Tampa Bay Partnership identified 480 foreign-owned companies from 41 nations operating in the eight-county region.
That's up from 2009, when a similar Foreign Direct Investment Study counted 394 companies representing 34 countries.
Foreign-owned firms in the Tampa area -- occupying 1,821 locations and employing more than 41,500 workers -- include Bankers Financial, Nielsen, Sweetbay Supermarket, Firmenich, Gerdau, BIC Graphics and CAE USA Inc.
“Our ability to reset our economic conditions relies on our actions to expand the types of investments made into our region from these types of companies,” said Stuart Rogel, president and CEO of the Tampa Bay Partnership.
“It is clear that as we look for answers, we must cultivate the relationships and resources identified throughout this study,” Rogel said.
Of the 480 foreign-owned companies, 77 are headquartered in the United Kingdom, 76 in Canada and 66 in Germany. Other top countries were Japan, 55 companies; France, 34; Switzerland, 32; and the Netherlands, 26.
By industry sector, manufacturing (111 companies) and wholesale trade (109) dominated the field. Other top categories were retail trade (50), professional services (37), administration/support (33) and finance/insurance (26).
Hillsborough led the eight-county region with 770 of the 1,821 foreign-firm locations, followed by Pinellas, 363; Polk, 209; Sarasota, 156; Manatee, 140; Pasco, 112; Hernando, 36; and Citrus, 35.
Of the 1,821 locations, 1,090 employed fewer than 10 workers.
Among the advantages of basing their operations in the Tampa Bay area, executives cited favorable weather, a large consumer market, easy and cheap distribution services, full-service ports and airports, and modest costs of operations.
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