The Central Maine Growth Council (CMGC) is establishing Central Maine as a logistical hub between Boston, New York, Quebec, Maritimes Canada and Europe. CMGC, a member of the National Association of Foreign Trade Zones (NAFTZ), is working closely with the U.S. Foreign Trade Zones Board to help businesses become aware of Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) benefits. The recent FTZ designation provides economic incentives to those companies that are both located within the Zone and engaged in international business. Companies can save millions of dollars and utilise those savings for research and
development, job creation and business expansion. Ports in Maine, such as Belfast, Eastport and Portland, are uniquely positioned in Trans-Atlantic shipping lanes. CMGC’s business attraction, expansion and retention activities focus on value-added industry sectors such as agriculture, medical services, precision manufacturing, technology, energy and aviation. Waterville’s LaFleur Airport is positioned for growth now that the area around it is a FTZ.
An aviation enterprise recently opened at the airport and other aviation connected businesses are expected to cluster around the airport in the near future.The upcoming $8 million reconstruction of the airport’s main runway in 2014 opens the return to passenger service and a higher volume of jet traffic. FTZ #186 is bolstering economic activity while giving significant advantages to companies dealing in import/export, valued-added assembly and production, and those that require advanced supply chain logistics. CMGC is closely partnering with Kennebec Regional Development Authority (KRDA); which offers the region additional capacity in support of Foreign Direct Investment.
KRDA is a conduit for tax-exempt bond financing and has reach to an EB 5 platform for green card/US citizenship designation for company principals/senior management teams. CMGC, in conjunction with KRDA, is a single source point of contact for project delivering (financing, technical assistance, relocation services, etc.). CMGC works closely with the City of Waterville (FTZ #186 grantee), to manage and co-ordinate the Zone. FTZ’s benefits to shippers and manufacturers include relief on taxes and duties on goods or components imported to the US. FTZ can also eliminate taxes and duties if the goods are exported, regardless of the origin of the raw materials.
Ports in Maine, such as Belfast, Eastport and Portland, are uniquely positioned in Trans-Atlantic shipping lanes.
Companies of various sizes can realise benefits to their bottom-line from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. Alternative Site Framework (ASF) and Usage-Driven Sites account for the vast majority of FTZ activities. CMGC is already in the process of adapting Waterville’s FTZ to the ASF model, in collaboration with a number of businesses, municipalities and economic development organisations. New streamlined regulations adopted by the FTZ Board expedite the application process to achieve approval within 30 days. On 2nd October 2013, CMGC presented the InternationalTrade Symposium: Growing Trade and Global Outreach in Central Maine at Colby College.
The event conveyed an increased understanding of imports/exports, foreign trade zones, international financial services, international “soft landing” business incubators and Foreign Direct Investment. Presenters included leaders from Maine International Trade Center, TD Bank, American Global Logistics, FTZ Networks and Atlantica Group. Seventy-five companies, organisations, consulates and governments attended the event which highlighted Central Maine’s growing trade and global reach to connect with emerging international markets, together with benefits of the FTZ that generate enterprise growth and expanded Foreign Direct Investment.
CMGC is strengthening the region’s global competitiveness and expects to successfully capture more enterprise growth opportunities from emerging international markets. This translates into a rise in businesses coming to the region; putting the area on the cusp of a logistical and manufacturing boom. Central Maine’s economic outlook is bright; thanks to CMGC and its partners – and FTZ #186.