City of Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam is touting his city as ideally suited to be a Caribbean trade center in South Florida.
Speaking to National Weekly at the Miramar Cultural Center during the Florida Conference on Caribbean Issues held last week, Messam cited the region as a boon to potential Caribbean/Florida enterprises, thanks to the city’s large Caribbean population, the proximity to air and sea ports, and its foreign trade zone – one of two such zones in Broward County.
Miramar hosting the special Caribbean conference, says Messam, “only shows this, and represents the start of a great potential for the city.”
“Miramar is in the middle of everything and everywhere. It’s all here in Miramar,” says Messam.
Approximately 33 percent of Miramar’s population of an estimated 123,000 residents are Caribbean-American. This demographic characteristic is reflected in the composition of the city’s leadership, where Messam and all the city commissioners are of Caribbean descent.
The mayor says the city is “ripe to assist and participate” in international trade, especially as the Caribbean population in the city provides a large Diaspora market for products from the Caribbean region. In addition to this potential market, the city has incentives that encourages economic development, including funding to assist businesses with job creation. Messam says he also plans to educate the Caribbean Diaspora on these partnership opportunities between the city and the Caribbean.
Miramar business woman Hillary Fagan said she is pleased with Miramar’s exploration of international trade.
“I am really hoping he is not just talking, but is prepared to lead the city government to develop this potential, which is long overdue,” says Fagan. “Why has it taken so long to see this vision? The city should be teeming with businesses importing and distributing products from the Caribbean. There should also be a strong small business community producing goods for the city, and exporting to the Caribbean. More strong business leadership is needed.”