THE North Butterworth Container Terminal (NBCT), which has been specially gazetted as a duty-free zone specifically for certain ports in the country, will now also be known as Free Trade Zone (FTZ) port, said Datuk Tan Teik Cheng.
The Penang Port Commission (PPC) chairman said the NBCT FTZ port gives foreign container vessels the freedom to dock, off load and load goods, with facilities including logistics service and warehousing.
“Besides the importation of raw materials, various value-added activities such as bulk breaking, grading, repackaging, re-labelling, transit and re-export works may be conducted. Most of these activities, except for a few products and services, will enjoy exemptions from Customs and excise duties, sales tax or service tax.
“The establishment of the port will attract international vessels to berth, exit or transit, while simultaneously attracting foreign investment.
“The administration of the PPC and the management of Penang Port Sdn Bhd will be upgraded technically combined with the latest experience.
“International trading companies will be able to conduct diverse types of economic, financial and processing activities at the port, ” he said in a statement on Wednesday.
Tan also paid a visit to the NBCT FTZ port to review the current situation and ensure that all related activities are running smoothly on Monday.
He explained that the port will derive income from the logistic fees, loading and unloading fees, port services charges besides other forms of income from the value-added activities.
This would rapidly boost the development of Penang and the neighbouring areas, and even the entire economic circle of Northern Malaysia, Southern Thailand, Northern Sumatra and the Bay of Bengal.
“It is hoped that the establishment of this port will deliver the greatest economic development impacts for Penang, and hence on, impart the most pragmatic contribution to the nation’s economy.
“Ultimately, the people are set to be the main beneficiaries, especially the residents of Penang, ” he said.
On Jan 29, Tan announced that the NBCT would be gazetted as a free trade zone beginning Feb 1.
Tan said he had received lots of positive reactions and support arising from the announcement, and is deeply grateful for the constructive suggestions from various parties.
“The granting of the FTZ status to NBCT proves that the Federal Government is committed and concerned about Penang’s economic progress, and has never sidelined development of the state as alleged by certain politicians, ” he said.