As Indiana businesses continue to compete on a global stage, a key asset in the state’s global economic development efforts is marking a milestone. Indiana’s largest federal Foreign Trade Zone, which covers 41 counties and is under the umbrella of the Indianapolis Airport Authority, has turned 35. INzone General Manager Kent Ebbing says the Greater Indianapolis Foreign Trade Zone is linked to more than 6,000 Hoosier jobs and over $700 million in annual imports.
Ebbing tells Inside INdiana Business services provided through FTZs are about more than financial impact. "Indiana used to compete regionally, then it became a national competition for jobs, and for distribution, and for manufacturing plants to be located. What’s evolved over the last 10 years is a global stage. ‘Where should I put a manufacturing plant? Where should I put distribution lines?’" He says the program helps position the state and companies located here to offer the most competitive product in the marketplace.
A report to Congress last year shows Indiana and its six zones ranked eighth among all states for FTZ export activity annually. In February, Indiana became only the second state (three-county Delaware was the first) to have all of its counties sign on to the Alternative Site Framework process, an accelerated FTZ application program. INzone says the designation could cut application times down to just weeks.
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