Canada’s minister of economic development says Hamilton’s new designation as an official Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) point will create “a one-stop shop” for a local businesses who want to export abroad.
Mélanie Joly announced the city’s new status during a virtual conference on Tuesday in addition to a federal government investment of $3.9 million in local packaging manufacturer Whitebird.
Hamilton will now be one of Canada’s 14 FTZs and Ontario’s third port of entry for commercial merchandise, both domestic and foreign, reducing duties, tariffs and taxes on foreign imports and exports.
Joly said Hamilton’s economic diversification in large businesses like life science, steel and a cargo airport were key anchors in the decision.
“So it has not only a strong economy and steel, but also life sciences because of McMaster University that has been booming, as well with its ports and its airports, which is also a very strong airport, particularly when it comes to parcels,” Joly told Global News.
Forty-five new jobs are expected to come out of the investment in Whitebird, which is expected to expand its facility with the acquisition of new advanced manufacturing equipment and transition to a new customer-centric online system.
“The announcement naming Hamilton as a FTZ point marks a new chapter in our city’s efforts to attract foreign direct investment and expand markets for our existing businesses,” Mayor Fred Eisenberger said in a statement prior to the announcement.