The City and Port Alberni Port Authority have teamed up with the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance in pursuing special tax breaks for island manufacturers.
The Foreign Trade Zone designation means businesses would not have to pay tax and duties on parts or materials they need to import, but only pay the duty and taxes when they export their finished product, according to VIEA President George Hanson.
VIEA President George Hanson says the designation would be a huge benefit to island manufacturers like Coulson Aviation, and they are awaiting approval from the federal government.
He says having the Foreign Trade Zone designation would help attract more manufacturing businesses to the island, which is perfectly situated for efficient exports to Asia and the Americas.
Vancouver Island would be the 11th Foreign Trade Zone in Canada, and the only one to encompass an entire region instead of it being confined to a single city or airport.