The Celtic Freeport bid could grant the status to two ports in Wales, which will ultimately create 16,000 new jobs.
Ports of Milford Haven and Port Talbot will likely see relaxed tax and customs regulations if they receive freeport status .
Associated British Ports, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire councils, and Milford Haven port are taking part in the bid.
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The bid is designed to optimise the local benefits of a separate proposal for a floating offshore wind farm in the Celtic Sea and is one of three contenders for the title of Wales’ first freeport since the 1980s.
UK companies are required to pay tax and customs tariffs while importing, but in freeports usual tax and customs rules are waived.
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They allow businesses within a freeport area to import, export, and manufacture goods easier and cheaper.
They need to pay just normal fees and taxes if those products enter the wider UK market.
Stephen Crabb, Conservative MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire said: “Port Talbot and Milford Haven are the best ports in Great Britain for basing a new floating offshore wind industry for the Celtic Sea.
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“So by linking that to the freeport bid you actually give us the best opportunity to attract businesses to locate to Wales to be part of this new industry, and make sure that the jobs and the economic value stays in Wales and the UK.”
Celtic’s bid is competing with Holyhead and Cardiff airport, both of which are offering significant job creation opportunities.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said earlier that creating only a single Welsh freeport “is the expectation but two is not impossible and the quality of the bids will be pivotal”.
The UK and Welsh governments will make a joint decision in the next few months.
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