The creation of an international trade center in Oklahoma is one step closer to becoming a reality. On Thursday, the House of Representatives joined the Senate in giving final legislative approval to Senate Bill 39.
Senator Jonathan Nichols is principal author of the measure, which was coauthored by Representative Billy Mitchell. Senator Nichols called the International Trade Processing Center one of the most important economic development projects for Oklahoma in years.
I cannot emphasize enough what a powerful economic development tool this will be for our state. Studies done by the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce predict the center will employ over two thousand people at peak operation. But it also will be a tremendous boost for our small businesses by giving them a direct link to the international market. That means the potential for job creation is actually far greater than those created at the center itself, said Nichols, RNorman.
Once completed, the Oklahoma International Trade Processing Center would provide transportation facilities, warehousing, and light industry tailored especially for international trade. The center would also include a state of the art electronic system for monitoring international shipments a measure which will enhance national security.
Lastly, the center will include a business services system offering specialized information and research capabilities tailored especially for international trade.
According to a reported issued by the Center for Economic and Business Development at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, the international trade center would have significant impact on job, population and income growth by the year 203. Among the findings the study projected as a result of the center: Employment to be 2,23 jobs higher by 203
State population to increase by ,0
Disposable personal income to be 23.2 million higher
Gross State Product to be 2. million higher
State Output to be . million higher
The center will likely be located somewhere in the Cleveland and McClain County area because it will give the facility easy access to both major interstates and an international airport. But the economic benefits will be enjoyed by the entire state, said Representative Mitchell, DLindsay.
Senate President Pro Tempore Cal Hobson noted the measure had bipartisan authorship as well as overwhelming bipartisan support in the Legislature.
It was obvious to all of us that SB 39 is tremendously important in terms of job creation and a broader revenue base that will ultimately benefit every single citizen of Oklahoma for years to come, said Hobson, DLexington.
SB 39 now goes to Governor Brad Henry for his consideration.