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(Crystal Proenza is associate editor of Real Estate Florida.)

MIAMI-The Beacon Council, Miami-Dade County’s economic development organization, is reaching out to the international community in hopes of bringing in new capital investment. A group consisting of executives from the council, Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, Italy-America Chamber of Commerce, Jay Malina International Trade Consortium, Salvatore Ferragamo and Poltrona Frau Atlantica is traveling to Italy and France through May 23 to inform international investors about the advantages of operating a company in a city that is a global business center.

During various meetings in Milan, Florence, Paris and Toulouse with corporate executives and networking events, the group will promote the Council’s Fashion and Lifestyle Initiative, presenting Miami as a hub for European fashion houses. The aim is to attract fashion industry associations, along with related industries including cosmetics, design and jewelry. In addition, the council hopes to reiterate Miami’s value as an international city with a multi-cultural work force to corporate executives in the aviation, financial, information technology and telecommunications industries.

“The increasing strength of the euro makes Miami-Dade a cost-effective stateside location for Italian and French companies wishing to expand their worldwide presence,” says Frank R. Nero, president and CEO of the Beacon Council. “The perception of Miami has been evolving from a hot vacation destination to a condo investment location, and now we are seeing they are realizing the business potential the county offers.”

There are currently 35 French and 18 Italian multinational companies operating in Miami-Dade County, with a total of 3,500 employees. Those companies include Trend USA, Ferragamo Latin America, Bulgari Retail USA, Parfums Givenchy Western Hemisphere Division, Longchamp and Parfums Christian Dior Latin America.

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