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Economy / Business

World Bank Exec Praises Bay Area Business

Florida and the Tampa Bay area are well-positioned to work with businesses in developing countries around the world.

That's the opinion of Ian Solomon, the U.S. Executive Director of the World Bank, who's in town this week to meet with local business leaders.

Solomon met on Thursday with students and faculty at the University of South Florida, speaking over an hour about the role of the U.S. in the World Bank Group, an organization with over 180 member nations that attempt to reduce global poverty and encourages development in underserved regions. The World Bank provided almost $47 billion in funding to over 300 projects around the globe last year. 

Florida's increasing dependence on trade with developing nations led the World Bank to choose economic development organization "Enterprise Florida" to serve as Private Sector Liaison Officer. 

"We believe there's tremendous potential down here (in Florida)," Solomon said. "The level of support and collaboration between different levels of federal, state and city and community groups here is really tremendous, so I think it's very well positioned to do very well."

According to its website, EFI is one of only nine organizations in the country chosen by the World Bank to be labeled as a PSLO. 

With the knowledge of World Bank funding and procurement opportunities, Florida's PSLO helps Florida businesses gain access to the billions of dollars in annual World Bank contracts. The Florida PSLO helps to create a better understanding of how to bid on World Bank projects, and also guides Florida companies through the procurement process.  

Solomon will speak about how state companies can do business with the World Bank at an Enterprise Florida luncheon at the University Club of Tampa Friday at noon.