Small- and medium-sized enterprises from Port Hardy to Victoria will benefit from new jobs and business opportunities, thanks to Vancouver Island’s official designation as a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ), championed by the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance (VIEA).
“Foreign Trade Zone designation for Vancouver Island (FTZ-VI) follows a natural progression of priority projects championed by the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance on behalf of stakeholders Island-wide to mature and diversify a sustainable Island economy,” says George Hanson, president of VIEA. “This FTZ Point will help Canadian businesses produce goods for export through several programs designed to defer duties and taxes to improve cash flow.
Vancouver Island, says Hanson, “is strategically positioned for export trade with Asia and the Americas.
“The Island has a significant inventory of under-utilized industrial land supported by transportation infrastructure with plenty of capacity to handle increased export volumes and attract investment,” he adds.
Boosting Regional Strength
With the new FTZ designation, VIEA will highlight the region’s network of trading centres and leverage its unique location with multiple deep-water ports and airports. According to VIEA, these ports have the capacity to handle 10 times current volumes, serving North America, Latin America and Asia. This designation is an important element in strengthening traditional Island industries on the world stage while attracting new manufacturing opportunities.
“As a global leader, Canada must proactively promote an interconnected world that creates tangible benefits for everyone,” says Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada. “The Vancouver Island Foreign Trade Zone highlights British Columbia’s export potential and supports the best interests of the Island’s industries and community.”