Science, Technology and Economic Development Minister, Navdeep Bains in Windsor July 31, 2017. (Photo by Adelle Loiselle)

Making It Easier For Business To Import And Export

Windsor-Essex is now officially designated as a Foreign Trade Zone.

After two years of work, the region is the eighth zone designated across Canada, and the second in Ontario.

The Niagara region received its designation last April.

Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains made the announcement at Farrow Logistics in LaSalle Monday morning.

Science, Technology and Economic Development Minister, Navdeep Bains in Windsor July 31, 2017. (Photo by Adelle Loiselle)

Science, Technology and Economic Development Minister, Navdeep Bains in Windsor July 31, 2017. (Photo by Adelle Loiselle)

“This is open to all sectors,” says Bains, pointing out that even local retailers can take advantage of the designation. “We think we need to be competitive in every sector.”

He says it will create jobs in the region by giving businesses greater access to different government programs, and cut back on their paperwork. Bains says it will also save them money by reimbursing them expenses like customs duties and taxes.

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens calls it another arrow in the region’s quiver when it comes to attracting new investors.

“We’re in competition with jurisdictions that are giving things away for free. We’re in competition with jurisdictions that have tax rates and incentives that sometimes we can, or can not compete with,” says Dilkens. “When we have programs like this it helps make us more competitive.”

The Windsor-Essex Economic Development Corporation has already set up a website for businesses seeking more information about the designation.

Rakesh Naidu, the chief operating officer at WEEDC, says information sessions for interested stakeholders are in the works over the next few weeks. A steering committee will also put together and seek out funding for a marketing campaign.