Foreign-Trade Zones are designed to reduce the costs of United States-based trade-related business activity. Zone status is a widely used economic tool under the supervision of the United States Customs and Border Protection.
International trade is commonplace in Conroe, especially inside Conroe Park North. Many current and prospective Conroe businesses are located within a Foreign-Trade Zone due to the recent approved expansion of Foreign-Trade Zone 265, known as the Conroe Park North General-Purpose Zone.
Danielle Scheiner, Executive Director of the Conroe Economic Development Council (CEDC), helps explain how Foreign-Trade Zones can positively influence a business.
“Foreign-Trade Zones are a cost reduction tool that can improve gross margins, and anything that improves your margins helps you be a more competitive enterprise,” said Scheiner. “Being located in a Foreign-Trade Zone makes companies more competitive within the context of the nation’s increasing level of international trade. These businesses benefit by the expansion of trade and lessening the costs associated with it.”
Scheiner and the CEDC prioritized to expand the Conroe Park North General-Purpose Zone to better serve the influx of new and potential businesses and reduce business costs. The process involved securing approval from existing businesses in the park to be retroactively included in the expanded Foreign-Trade Zone. Scheiner sees this expansion as a major win for Conroe and businesses in Conroe Park North.
“Many manufacturing businesses choose to be located within a Foreign-Trade Zone. They view it the same way they would good infrastructure when choosing where to locate,” added Scheiner. “The expansion of the Conroe Park North General-Purpose Zone will attract companies looking to reduce costs incurred in the normal conduct of import/export trade activity. Businesses looking for a strategic location will now find it easier to conduct productive trade-related economic activity by locating in Conroe Park North.”
Scheiner and the CEDC are confident that this expanded tool will help attract new businesses looking for a competitive advantage of lower costs. Ultimately, this will result in more jobs and increased revenue for the City of Conroe.