The City of Hamilton was designated a Foreign Trade Zone Point (FTZ) by the federal government this week, an appointment that could bring the creation of more jobs and bolster the city’s recovery from COVID-19.
On Tuesday (Nov. 10), Canada’s Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, Mélanie Joly announced the city’s designation making it the 14th FTZ in Canada and the third in Ontario, behind Windsor and the Niagara Region.
According to the Government of Canada website, an FTZ is defined as “a specific location within a country that is officially designated for eligibility for tariff and tax exemptions with respect to the purchase or importation of raw materials, components or finished goods.”
Local businesses will have the opportunity to access programs for tariff and tax exemptions when buying or importing raw materials, components and finished goods.
Given Hamilton’s access to shipping channels on the Great Lakes, rail transport and its airport, which is Canada’s largest domestic express cargo airport, the city is the ideal location to establish a hub for international trade.
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“The announcement naming Hamilton as a Foreign Trade Zone point marks a new chapter in our city’s efforts to attract foreign direct investment and expand markets for our existing businesses, said Mayor Fred Eisenberger in a statement.
“This new designation will accelerate economic activity and enhance Hamilton’s renowned reputation as a goods movement leader in Canada.”
In making the official announcement of the designation, Joly touted the benefits of being an FTZ, among them the potential for foreign investment and job creation.
She also announced a federal investment of close to $4 million in HT Productions Inc., an East Hamilton packaging manufacturer who during the peak of the pandemic, pivoted production to produce face shields for frontline workers.
“This will allow the company to create 45 and maintain another 105 good, local jobs, which is good for the local economy,” Joly said in a statement.
“The government is proud of the resiliency shown by business owners and workers during the crisis and wants to put in place the right conditions to ensure our economy comes roaring back.”
The City of Hamilton’s Economic Development department, the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport and the Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority, collaborated in advocating for this coveted designation.