GEORGE TOWN: The North Butterworth Container Terminal (NBCT) will be gazetted as a free trade zone beginning Feb 1, says the Penang Port Commission (PPC).
Its chairman Datuk Tan Teik Cheng announced the good news on Friday (Jan 29) and hoped that the ports in Penang could grow internationally and become the first choice for foreign exporters.
He said the free trade zone will be divided into several more zones, including industrial zones, commercial zones and special zones.
"With the effort of Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz had finally agreed to gazette the NBCT as a free trade zone under the Free Zone Act 1990.
“The free trade zones will create many local employment opportunities and drive the domestic manufacturing industry.
“PPC and Penang Port Sdn Bhd will strive to improve port services to attract more foreign exporters to use the ports in Penang as well as attract foreign companies to set up factories in Penang.
“Foreign companies can import raw materials from foreign countries and process them in the free trade zone before exporting them overseas.
“As they can enjoy duty-free, their products can be exported at a lower price, ” he said in a statement on Friday (Jan 29).
Tan promised that the free trade zone would take comprehensive measures, introduce investment incentives, and give prompt treatment with one-stop centres to attract foreign exporters to expand the export, production and processing trade sectors in the zone.
"As the free trade zone provides a variety of industrial and commercial facilities, including efficient delivery, storage services and incentive policies, we believe that exporters from all over the world will come here to conduct various product exhibitions, processing and re-exporting activities among others, ” he added.