Sylvia Cesaratto, Consul General of Canada in Miami, United States
I am delighted to have been appointed as Canada’s Consul General in Miami. Canada and Florida, and Canada and Puerto Rico share a partnership like no other. Our relationship is multi-faceted and runs deep, from being a top source country for tourists, to being the state’s most important economic partner, to being staunch allies on security and defence. My goal is to build on that solid foundation and to take the relationship to new heights.
Most Floridians know that Canadians love to winter in Florida. What they may not know is that the US is the top tourist destination for Canadians and that Florida figures prominently as a top destination. Indeed, Canada is overwhelmingly the top international source of tourists coming to Florida, with 3.5 million annual visits, and spending almost $6.5 billion – nearly 40% of all spending by foreign tourists in Florida. Canadians are also top foreign purchasers of residential real estate in Florida. We estimate the residential property portfolio to be around $60 billion, which would mean that Canadians contribute over $600 million annually in property taxes. Our consular section helps many of the millions of Canadian visitors and snowbirds who come to Florida, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands each year, including by issuing emergency passports and other travel documents; providing certain notarial and certification services; sharing information on voting abroad, old age security and the Canadian Pension Plan; and responding to emergencies such as medical distress cases, arrests/detentions, deaths abroad, and natural disasters.
Canada is also Florida’s most important economic partner with $8B in two-way trade, and over 500 Canadian-owned companies generating 60,000 jobs directly for Floridians! An increasing number of Canadian companies are expanding their presence and establishing new relationships in Florida, especially in innovative and high-potential sectors including aerospace/space, information technology, clean technology, and life sciences. The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, a key part of our Consulate, is pleased to work with those companies, and others who we believe can help us grow the Canada-Florida commercial relationship by increasing two-way trade; facilitating R&D partnering, commercialization and sourcing of technology; and attracting investment to Canada.
We are here to help Canadian organizations successfully export to Florida and Puerto Rico, establish a presence in this market, tackle market access issues, pursue joint-ventures or other strategic alliances, participate in global value chains, and seek technology and R&D partners. We do this by providing on-the-ground intelligence and practical advice on the market, as well as by providing Canadian companies with qualified business and public sector contacts.
While jobs and the economy are important to both of our countries, our partnership goes far beyond that. We work with universities and colleges, non-governmental organizations, sports organizations, and cultural organizations -- and we are glad to see that this collaboration is also growing. Our Canadian Forces personnel serve together with US military at bases across the state, including the three command centers, protecting our shared continent, fighting against terrorism and patrolling international waters in the Caribbean and elsewhere. Ten percent of all Canadian armed forces in the USA are in Florida. The Canada Border Services Agency works with its counterparts in the United States, and other law enforcement and international border management partners in the region to secure the border, while facilitating the legitimate flow of goods and people. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) working in the region in partnership with international law enforcement agencies, foreign governments and Canadian embassies, maintain a link between Canadian law enforcement and US law enforcement agencies in support of the RCMP's mandate to fight transnational crime.
I am honoured to be leading a team of dedicated professionals who have nurtured strong partnerships in order to advance Canada’s priorities in Florida, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. We are all committed to providing excellent service to our Canadian community, and to promote this vibrant and diversified partnership. It is clear that Canada matters to the region, and that the region matters to Canada.
Ms. Sylvia Cesaratto is a multi-lingual senior executive with the Canadian government with extensive overseas experience in delivering Canada's foreign policy, international business and international development priorities. She has a proven track record in leading multicultural and multi-functional teams to deliver results on behalf of stakeholders (government, business, citizens). She has led teams providing strategic advice to senior decision-makers as well as policy recommendations on advancing bilateral relations with international partners, including enhancing relations with Canada’s North American neighbours: Mexico and the United States.
She has had 4 prior international assignments, with her first to South Africa following the lifting of economic sanctions. Other overseas assignments have included London, UK; Brussels, Belgium and from 2011 to 2015 as Canada’s Ambassador to Panama. Ms. Cesaratto was most recently the Director General for Central America and the Caribbean at headquarters. Ms. Cesaratto is pleased to be representing Canada in the dynamic state of Florida.
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