Florida FTAA, Inc. Launches Its 33 Country Task Force Outreach Effort with...

Florida FTAA, Inc. Launches Its 33 Country Task Force Outreach Effort with Trips to Argentina, Colombia and Costa Rica

The Program Aims to Bring Florida's Permanent Secretariat Message to the Hemisphere


MIAMI–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – BUSINESS WIRE)–July 16, 2003–Ambassador Charles Cobb, Chairman of Florida FTAA, Inc., today announced the launch of Florida FTAA’s Country Task Force Initiative, an extensive outreach effort to the 33 nations of the Hemisphere involved in the Free Trade Area of the Americas negotiations. Over the next five months, the task forces will visit most countries in the region to meet with political, business and community leaders, and share with them the advantages and benefits of choosing Miami as the permanent seat of the FTAA secretariat. To date, task force delegations have already had successful meetings in Peru, Brazil, Dominican Republic and El Salvador.

“This initiative is one of the most important priorities, as it will not only show our hemispheric neighbors the seriousness of our commitment to housing the FTAA permanent secretariat, but will also allow us to take our message directly to the decision makers in each capital,” said Jorge Arrizurieta, Executive Director and COO of Florida FTAA, Inc. “Thanks to the vast pool of Floridians with experience and in-depth knowledge of the nations of the Hemisphere, we are very fortunate to have the best of the best from the public and private sectors leading these task forces.”

As part of his commitment to supporting Florida’s efforts to bring the FTAA permanent secretariat to Miami, Governor Jeb Bush, working together with Florida FTAA’s Country Task Forces, is contacting each one of the Presidents and Prime Ministers of the region in advance of the task force’s arrival, to not only inform them of the visit of the delegations, but also to formally ask them for their support of Miami’s candidacy.

A task force delegation led by Amb. Manuel Rocha recently traveled to Argentina. Today, County Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz and State Representative Juan Carlos Zapata will lead the first task force to Colombia. This will be followed by a Florida FTAA – Beacon Council trade mission to Costa Rica, led by Robin Reiter and Frank Nero, Chairman and President of the Beacon Council respectively. For a complete list of the scheduled visits of the Florida FTAA Country Task Forces, please see below.

Florida FTAA, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, created to support hemispheric free trade and the efforts to bring the permanent Secretariat of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) to Miami. In addition to organizing the Country Task Force Initiative, Florida FTAA is assisting in the efforts to ensure the success of the FTAA Ministerial Meeting and the Americas Business Forum which will be held in Miami, Florida on November 17-21.

The FTAA is an integration effort that will encompass an area comprised of 800 million customers and a combined GDP of $14 trillion, making it the largest trading block in the world (spanning from Tierra del Fuego to Alaska). By 2005, the FTAA membership body, comprised of democratically elected heads of state of the Western Hemisphere, will likely select a location for its Permanent Secretariat. With unparalleled economic, cultural, historical and political linkages to Latin America and the Caribbean, and with wide recognition as the Gateway to the Americas, Miami represents the strongest chance of any U.S. city to win the Secretariat.

Florida FTAA Country Task Force Schedule:


— Colombia – July 14th and 15th — Florida FTAA mission

— Argentina – July 13th and 14th — Florida FTAA mission

— Costa Rica – July 17th and 18th – Beacon Council / Florida FTAA mission


— Chile – August 11th -13th – Greater Miami Chamber / Florida FTAA mission

— Nicaragua – August 13th, 14th and 15th – CAMACOL / Florida FTAA mission

— Barbados – August 20th and 21st — Florida FTAA mission

— Brazil – August 25th and 26th — Florida FTAA mission

— Uruguay – August 27th and 28th — Florida FTAA mission

— Paraguay – August 28th and 29th — Florida FTAA mission


— Dominican Republic – September 15th – 17th – EFI / Florida FTAA mission

— Mexico – September 24th – 26th — Florida FTAA mission

— Bahamas – September 29th — Florida FTAA mission


— St. Kitts and Nevis – October 6th and 7th — Florida FTAA mission

— Antigua – October 8th and 9th — Florida FTAA mission

— Bolivia – October 14th and 15th — Florida FTAA mission

— Peru – October 16th and 17th — Florida FTAA mission

— Guatemala – October 29th — Florida FTAA mission

— Honduras – October 30th and 31st — Florida FTAA mission


— Colombia – November 3rd and 4th – Florida FTAA mission

— Ecuador – November 5th and 6th — Florida FTAA mission



Florida FTAA, Inc., Miami

Jorge Arrizurieta, 305/476-5451


Florida FTAA, Inc. Launches Its 33 Country Task Force Outreach Effort with Trips to Argentina, Colombia and Costa Rica