Make us your home page
Instagram

Central, South American retailers in Tampa for conference

TAMPA — Pedro Malave Aquilo owns a retail bakery in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and has a side business selling German-made gas grills shipped from a distributor in St. Petersburg.

"That's why I'm here," Aquilo said, "to finally meet my distributor after five years and look for exporters with other products."

Aquilo is one of 250 retailers, importers, exporters and trade experts from 16 Caribbean and South American countries gathered at the 18th annual Retailers of the Americas conference in Tampa this weekend to talk shop and exchange business cards.

"When they get together, they often develop agendas for trade among several countries," said Derek Lloyd, president of the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce of Tampa Bay.

U.S. exports to Central and South America rose 16 percent in 2006. The United States operated at a trade surplus with four countries there and a trade deficit with seven others, including Venezuela and Mexico.

Landing the conference was a bit of a coup for the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and local Caribbean American chamber. It's the first time the group — which draws participants from as far south as Chile and Argentina — staged its annual meeting in the United States. Tampa beat competitors Orlando and Miami-Dade County largely on the strength of its big Latin business community, role as a transportation hub and large number of small entrepreneurial businesses.

Mark Albright can be reached at malbright@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8252.

Central, South American retailers in Tampa for conference 11/20/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 20, 2008 10:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. For Gov. Rick Scott, 'fighting' could mean vetoing entire state budget

    State Roundup

    Every day, Gov. Rick Scott is getting a lot of advice.

    The last time a Florida governor vetoed the education portion of the state budget was in 1983. Gov. Bob Graham blasted fellow Democrats for their “willing acceptance of mediocrity.”
  2. Potential new laws further curb Floridians' right to government in the Sunshine

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — From temporarily shielding the identities of murder witnesses to permanently sealing millions of criminal and arrest records, state lawmakers did more this spring than they have in all but one of the past 22 years to chip away at Floridians' constitutional guarantees to access government records and …

    The Legislature passed 17 new exemptions to the Sunshine Law, according to a tally by the First Amendment Foundation.
  3. Data breach exposes 469 Social Security numbers, thousands of concealed weapons holders

    Corporate

    Social Security numbers for up to 469 people and information about thousands of concealed weapons holders were exposed in a data breach at Florida the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The breach, which the agency believes happened about two weeks ago, occurred in an online payments system, spokesperson …

    Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam on Monday that nearly 500 people may have had their Social Security numbers obtained in a data breach in his office.
[Times file photo]

  4. Trigaux: Can Duke Energy Florida's new chief grow a business when customers use less power?

    Energy

    Let's hope Harry Sideris has a bit of Harry Houdini in him.

    Duke Energy Florida president Harry Sideris laid out his prioriities for the power company ranging from improved customer service to the use of more large-scale solar farms to provide electricity. And he acknowledged a critical challenge: People are using less electricity these days. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  5. Citigroup agrees to pay nearly $100 million fine for Mexican subsidiary

    Banking

    NEW YORK — Citigroup has agreed to pay nearly $100 million to federal authorities to settle claims that a lack of internal controls and negligence in the bank's Mexican subsidiary may have allowed customers to commit money laundering.

    Citigroup has agreed to pay nearly $100 million to federal authorities to settle claims that a lack of internal controls and negligence in the bank's Mexican subsidiary may have allowed customers to commit money laundering. 
[Associated Press file photo]