TEESPORT – THE ‘FREE PORT’ OPPORTUNITY
With a level of confidence at a high in Teesside, a plethora of projects either in progress or coming over the horizon and a new Mayor in post, it comes as no surprise that the region has made the headlines on a national platform more than once in recent months.Teesport has been a focal point for much of the region’s national interest.
“FREE PORT STATUS FOR THE TEES VALLEY WILL BE TRANSFORMATIONAL FOR LOCAL PEOPLE. NOT ONLY WOULD WE BECOME AN INTERNATIONAL MAGNET FOR BUSINESSES WANTING TO SET UP HERE, IT’LL ALSO MEAN MORE JOBS FOR LOCAL PEOPLE.”Ben Houchen, Tees Valley Mayor
Back in 2017 we welcomed Prime Minster, Theresa May, to discuss some of the key national infrastructure projects taking place at the Port and most recently was the turn of Brexit secretary, the Rt Hon David Davis during his visit to the region led by Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen.Using Teesport as a base to deliver his landmark speech formally setting out the UK’s aims for the transition period following the withdrawal of the UK from the EU.
Citing the region as the UK’s exporting Capital, he went on to talk about the potential opportunities a post-Brexit Britain may present including the opportunity to establish Free Port status, setting out a positive vision for future trade and investment when markets become more globalised. Mr Davis set out his plan for a timed implementation period, following the UK’s exit from the EU, providing certainty and clarity to businesses.
Addressing the specific opportunities for Teesport and the region, Mr Davis assured the people of the Tees Valley that the implementation period would continue to make the area successful. He said the “prize” of the best possible access to the EU, while opening up greater access to the rest of the market, would be enormous for Teesport above all else.
Mr Davis went on to say that any transition period would and should not preclude the UK from signing independent trade agreements entering force post-implementation.
PD Ports’ COO, Jerry Hopkinson, and member of the Tees Valley Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The Minister’s speech at Teesport is a welcomed step forward in understanding the potential opportunities for international trade that Brexit might deliver.
“What is important in the coming months is ensuring we have the best possible conditions in which we can attract further inward investment and create a platform for growth and help to develop long-term sustainable industries for the Tees Valley and the local and regional economy.