SAINT JOHN (GNB) – Saint John today received federal designation as a Foreign Trade Zone Point, which allows companies to import goods, assemble and store them and re-export them without taxes or duties.

“This initiative will simplify trade and duty matters for New Brunswick businesses in this challenging climate,” said Energy and Resource Development Minister Rick Doucet. “Our government is pleased to support the promotion of the Foreign Trade Zone designation for Saint John, which will be a great resource to businesses of all sizes.”

Doucet spoke on behalf of Treasury Board President Roger Melanson, who is also minister responsible for Trade Policy.

The designation recognizes the Saint John region as a hub for international trade.

“The Government of Canada is committed to growing Canada’s international competitiveness and promoting direct foreign investment in Canada,” said Saint John-Rothesay MP Wayne Long. “By establishing foreign trade zones, we are strengthening Canada’s competitive capacity and helping companies reach new markets.”

Long attended for Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains, who is also minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).

Long also announced a federal government contribution of $75,000, through ACOA’s Business Development Program, to support Enterprise Saint John’s marketing activities and promotion of the Foreign Trade Zone Point. The provincial government, through Opportunities NB, the Port of Saint John and Develop Saint John are also contributing to the marketing activities.

Enterprise Saint John will now act as a single access point for businesses looking for information on the city’s Foreign Trade Zone Point, including training and regulatory information from agencies such as the Canada Revenue Agency, Canada Border Services Agency, Transport Canada, Export Development Canada, Global Affairs Canada and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.

“This is just one more advantage we now have to promote our region,” said Ron Gaudet, chief executive officer for Enterprise Saint John. “This Foreign Trade Zone Point designation has many benefits including allowing companies to import goods, assemble and store them and re-export them without taxes or duties. That’s a huge advantage for our manufacturing companies and businesses.”

Enterprise Saint John, as the regional economic development agency, has worked towards achieving the designation for the past two years.

“This Foreign Trade Zone Point could have long-term benefits for business and the growth of this city for years to come,” said Saint John Mayor Don Darling. “It means less hoops to jump through, less paper work, tax and tariff burdens for business. If they grow, our city grows. I am pleased we have yet another advantage we can promote and tell the world Saint John is the ideal place to do business.”

More information on Saint John’s Foreign Trade Zone Point, programming and training, is available online.