Vancouver Island has been designated as a Foreign Trade Zone, the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance and the federal government announced Monday.
The designation allows for tariff and tax exemptions, with respect to the purchase or importation of raw materials, components or finished goods.
The materials and goods can be stored, processed or assembled, then re-exported without taxes or duties. The materials and goods can also be prepared for entry into the domestic market, in which case taxes and duties would be deferred until the time of entry.
“The Vancouver Island Foreign Trade Zone highlights British Columbia’s export potential and supports the best interests of the Island’s industries and community,” Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains said.
George Hanson, president and CEO of the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance, said the designation is crucial to Vancouver Island’s economic growth, and it will increase competitiveness, production volumes and distribution of Island-made products.
“Vancouver Island 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,” Hanson said.
Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Sheila Malcolmson said Vancouver Island is strategically positioned to export local goods.
“Connections to global supply chains in Nanaimo —Ladysmith, the riding I serve, include a regional airport, a rail freight line, a federal port, and a university. With better promotion and coordination that VIEA’s Foreign Trade Zone Point offers, Vancouver Island can increase export volumes and attract investment,” Malcomson said in a statement.
There are now 11 Foreign Trade Zone Points in Canada, including:
- Vancouver Island
- Edmonton’s Port Alberta
- Quebec City
- Cape Breton Regional Municipality
- Halifax Gateway
- Winnipeg’s Centreport Canada
- Calgary Region Inland Port
- Regina’s Global Transportation Hub
- Saint John
The Vancouver Island Economic Alliance is a non-profit society where communities, First Nations, businesses and other stakeholders collaborate on economic development programs.