Hamilton Designated Foreign Trade Zone in Move to Become Global Trade Hub

McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario

The Canadian federal government has named Hamilton, Ontario a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) in an effort to accelerate business, attract investment and establish the city as a hub for international trade.

“We know Hamilton has a strong economy and has been diversifying itself in recent years,” Mélanie Joly, the country’s Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, said in an interview on Monday afternoon.

“Of course, it is a steel superpower, but also, in the tech and health and life science sector.”

The designation means local businesses can access programs for tariff and tax exemptions when buying or importing raw materials, components and finished goods. Being an FTZ also generally means materials can be stored, processed or assembled for re-export — usually without any taxes and duties — or for entry into the domestic market, in which case taxes and duties would be deferred until the time of entry.

The move benefits local businesses that are shipping product around the world, or trying to attract investors. The hope is that the designation also creates local jobs and reinforces the city’s position as a key contributor to the economy.

Joly hopes the designation will allow McMaster University to turn research and development into business, while also allowing the city’s tech and life science sectors room to grow.

She added that the more than 1,100 local businesses and Hamilton’s easy access via air, water, rail or road, made it “well-positioned in the global advanced manufacturing marketplace.”

The big business announcement also follows investments into Hamilton by Amazon and Canadian National Railway.

Hamilton is the third FTZ in Ontario, along with Windsor and Niagara, and is the 14th in the country.

(Source: CBC News)