Having opened by the end of august, the free trade zone, ZPE Ceará, is now in operation in Pecém – located on the coast 60 km northwest of Fortaleza. The free trade zone integrates Pecém port and Pecém industrial complex and extends over 4,271 hectares when both stages are opened. The area in Pecém has in recent years seen mayor investment and the infrastructure in the area is now described as “state of the art”. In the industrial area the steel giant Vale is building and integrated facility for the production of steel slabs for export, while the large oil refinery Premium II is under construction and expected to be completed in 2017. Upon completion, the steel production is alone expected to boost GDP in Ceará by 12 %. The companies located in the free trade area are exempt from a variety of taxes and allowed free trade with other countries. Companies in the area must earn and maintain gross revenue from exports, which should account for at least 80% of their total gross revenue.

“With the establishment of the first free trade zones in Brazil, our exporters will have another mechanism to boost the competitiveness of their products in foreign markets and add value to exports. The FTZ (ZPE) is also a tool to attract new investment and create jobs,” said Gustavo Savoy , Executive Secretary of the National Council of Free Trade Zones, at the opening of ZPE Ceará.

Pictures from ZPE Ceará can be seen here.