Vancouver Island to benefit from new trade deal

By NanaimoNewsNOW Staff
September 24, 2018 - 5:31pm Updated: October 11, 2018 - 12:29pm

Ian Holmes/NanaimoNewsNOW

NANAIMO — Local business owners and investors hope they've found a new way to attract foreign investment to Vancouver Island. 

The island now has Foreign Trade Zone Status, which is designed to decrease trade barriers preventing goods from being imported into the area. The new designation was arranged between the federal government and the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance.

Alliance president George Hansen said there will now be a task force, made up of departments from all three levels of government, to streamline investment into the area. 

The streamlined investment will hopefully attract people to fill available gaps in capacity, such as room for business at the Nanaimo airport and deep sea ports.

“I think this gives us a very powerful advantage in the market place,” Hansen said of the designation, which was three years in the making.

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Sheila Malcolmson strongly supported the designation.

“To have the navigation and translation system that is here to support businesses in getting their goods to market is exactly aligned with what a just and gentle government should do.”

Ten other Foreign Trade Zones are in effect in Canada, with Vancouver Island's being the only one belonging to a non-government entity.

Vancouver Island contributes 13-to-14 per cent of the province's gross domestic product, according to the federal government.


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