Chamber program to market services enters next phaseBy Paolo Iuspa
Business leaders from communities throughout Latin America and the Caribbean will have a chance to learn about professional services available in Miami-Dade County when South Florida executives visit them this spring.
The program was created by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and American Airlines which is designed to help local, high-level executives meet with counterparts on May 7 & 8.
"This is not a trade mission where you try to sell your services to other companies," said Priscilla Ferreira, chamber manager of global affairs and international services. "This is to exchange information and establish a relationship that could lead to future partnerships and joint ventures."
Delegates, who will participate by invitation, will indicate by survey which city they hope to visit from any of those that American Airlines serves, Ms. Ferreira said.
"American came up with the project idea," she said. "We sent out a survey to see which cities our members were more interested in visiting. When we get the results, we will be able to say if they can choose a city from 18 or 20 cities."
She said chamber officials have not yet determined registration fees. Airline tickets will be discounted, she said.
This is the second consecutive year the chamber has planned such a mission, which is phase one of a two-phase Americas Linkage program, Ms. Ferreira said. She said phase two will bring executives from Latin America and the Caribbean to Miami in the fall.
About 35 delegates visited 14 cities last year, Ms. Ferreira said, but only chamber board members and trustees participated. A few days after mailing the invitations this time, she said, a good response from both chamber members and non-members was evident.
"I don't know if we will end up opening the registration," Ms. Ferreira said. "We still have to see."
During the trip, chamber representatives will sign cooperate agreements with other chambers, said Sallyie Anne Marvil, who co-chairs the program's committee.
"They will become like points of contact for us," said Ms. Marvil, president of Vision & Planning, a corporate events organizer. "It is like having a friend in that country, a liaison. We haven't determined yet which cities we may sign agreements with."
Ms. Marvil said delegates will become ambassadors of Miami and their job will be to promote it as a business center.
Walter Loy, chamber vice chairman for global affairs, said the program is for executives wanting to establish contacts or needing to tell the story of Miami.
"One should never go to any type of mission with the idea it will give instantaneous monetary return," said Mr. Loy, senior adviser for international affairs with JPoole & Associates. "This is primarily a mission to indoctrinate about the services the chamber offers and Miami as well."
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