Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone Adds Five Counties to its Region

/PRNewswire/ -- The US Foreign-Trade Zones Board approved a broad expansion of the Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone Inc. (GFTZ) - a move which widens the organization's reach into Middle-Georgia and paves the way for numerous companies to reap economic benefits from the program.

The expansion brings foreign-trade zone status to sites in three Middle-Georgia counties -- Bibb, Monroe, and Twiggs - and adds new sites in Troup and Fulton Counties. Greater accessibility to the FTZ program will enable companies from a broad cross-section of manufacturing and distribution to join the organization.

"For three decades the Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone has been a successful economic development tool for the state and for Atlanta," said Julie Brown, CEO and President of the GFTZ. "We're excited to receive the green light to extend our program to Middle Georgia and allow more communities throughout the state to participate in this advantageous program."

Foreign trade zones facilitate trade and increase the global competitiveness of companies doing business in Georgia by reducing operating costs associated with international trade. According to Brown, the driving force behind the expansion was a recent increase in demand for Foreign-Trade Zone opportunities, as companies seek more affordable methods for improving their bottom lines.

"During such challenging economic times, the Foreign-Trade Zone opportunity enables employers to maintain and possibly even increase the number of jobs by lowering the overall operating costs at their facility," Brown said

The expansion represents the successful effort for the GFTZ to take a more regional approach and management to what has been largely a metro Atlanta initiative. GFTZ had maintained sites in seven counties surrounding the Atlanta metro region - Clayton, Fayette, Cherokee, Muscogee, Spalding, Gwinnett, and Henry. GFTZ has also sponsored multiple FTZ subzone applications at individual company facilities throughout Georgia.

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