The vote in the United Kingdom to leave the European Union and what it could mean for Miami-Dade County
The voters on June 23, 2016 decided that the United Kingdom should leave the European Union. A small majority (52%) vote in favor of an exit by the United Kingdom. Although the process of separation could take up to two years and there are several options for the relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom, much of the world is already trying to figure out what it means to the global economy as well as their own economies and its business communities.
Miami-Dade County and South Florida traditionally have had strong economic ties with the United Kingdom. The total trade between South Florida (the Miami Custom District) and the United Kingdom was almost $1.6 billion dollars in 2015, of which more than $1.1 billion was imported from and close to $600 million was exported to the United Kingdom. There are over 60 British multinational companies in South Florida. The United Kingdom is also an important source of visitors for Miami-Dade County with 326,000 visitors in 2015. There are direct flights to London and Manchester. South Florida also has a population of about 26,000 individuals who were born in the United Kingdom.
One of the immediate results of the vote is the decrease in value of the British Pound compared to the Dollar. This means that imports from the United Kingdom might become cheaper, but at the same time, for British visitors, staying in Miami-Dade County might become more expensive. The same can be said for the Euro, which also lost value, which means that coming to Miami-Dade County for European visitors might become more expensive as well. About 1.5 million visitors in 2015 were European (not all from the Euro zone). Traditionally international visitors spend more money than their domestic counterparts.
The initial response around the world was that of surprise and worry about what the consequences will be of this vote. In addition to the decline in the value of the British Pound and Euro, the major stock markets also responded with losses.
While it is unclear what the impact could be on Miami-Dade County, British companies may now be more inclined to grow into new markets, such as the Americas where the exchange rate may be more favorable. In that case, a location in Miami-Dade County to serve those new markets might prove an opportunity. Conversely, there may be a decline in exports through the Miami Customs District as British companies scale back their activities from the US and increase them elsewhere. As the consequences of this vote are revealed in the coming weeks, it will become clearer what this change might mean to Miami-Dade County and South Florida.
Source: Old Beacon Site