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Feds designate Sarnia–Lambton region as an official trade hub


The federal government has named the Sarnia–Lambton region in Ontario as an official Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ).

The designation means the centre is considered a single point of access to resources and information relating to programs that relieve duties, tariffs and taxes for businesses engaged in importing and exporting.

Several industries serve the region, including chemical refinement and agriculture. Access to transportation and strong infrastructure make the FTZ point attractive for trade and exports, says the government in a statement.

The FTZ designation will allow Sarnia–Lambton to market itself as a hub for international trade and to provide coordinated access to government FTZ programs helping to attract more business and foreign direct investment (FDI) to the area.

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It allows the region to coordinate programs that benefit businesses, such as the Duty Deferral Program, the Duties Relief Program, the Drawback Program, the Customs Bonded Warehouse Program and the Export Distribution Centre Program.

“We are witnessing an industrial and environmental evolution,” says Allan Calvert, chief executive officer of the Sarnia–Lambton Chamber of Commerce, in a statement. “Beyond our globally recognized expertise in these areas, the ability to streamline the trade of goods and services beyond our borders is paramount in the sustainability and growth of our communities.”

Business owners from underrepresented groups such as women, Indigenous peoples, visible minorities and persons with disabilities will also be encouraged to participate in available FTZ programs.

Ontario is home to five FTZ points, with a total of 16 located across Canada.