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Island Foreign Trade Zone Designation Explained at VIEA Summit

A significant step towards balancing and diversifying our Island economy.

The designation of Vancouver Island as an official Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ-VI), a project championed by the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance (VIEA), will assist businesses that produce and manufacture goods for export by improving access to government duty and tax deferral programs while direct marketing Vancouver Island internationally.

“The Vancouver Island Foreign Trade Zone highlights British Columbia’s export potential and supports the best interests of the Island’s industries and community,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada.

The designation will also help to sustain and strengthen the local economy and traditional industries engaged in export. FTZ Vancouver Island is a useful addition to Canada’s international trading sector. With a large network of transportation infrastructure and available industrial land, the Island’s unique location, multiple deep-water ports and airports provides advantages for goods producers interested in expanding markets.

“The Economic Alliance is thrilled to be receiving this designation for all of Vancouver Island — a significant step towards balancing and diversifying our Island economy. Now the work begins to take full advantage of our FTZ-VI designation,” says George Hanson, president and CEO of VIEA.

Later this month in Nanaimo, the State of the Island Economic Summit will offer two panel sessions on the outcomes of the FTZ-VI, including one on the details of what FTZ-VI means to the Island Economy — how it will work and what it will do for industry — and another on a Foreign Direct Investment project to develop and market a portfolio of business cases to attract investor attention.

In addition, this year’s Economic Summit includes an address from B.C. Premier John Horgan, keynote presentations including Celeste Haldane, chief commissioner of the BC Treaty Commission, and expert panels engaging on current social and economic issues that impact Vancouver Island businesses, communities and stakeholders including the legalization of cannabis, renewable energy, the #MeToo movement, and more.

The State of the Island Economic Summit takes place Oct. 24-25 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre in Nanaimo. Tickets are available at

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