Empire State Development has announced that New York State will make available up to $100 million in mortgage financing for purchasers of offices in the International Gem Tower through its Job Development Authority program.

The International Gem Tower will further establish New York as the center of the international trade, said Governor David A. Paterson. Once completed, the Tower will rival leading competitors across the globe with its state-of-the-art technology, services and Foreign-Trade Zone designation. The International Gem Tower will also be instrumental in fostering economic activity abroad and expand the State's presence around the world.

Empire State Development Chairman Dennis M. Mullen explained, The International Gem Tower is a transformational project, which will distinguish New York State, give us a competitive advantage in the global marketplace, and affirm New York State's role as a leader in international trade and investment.

We are immensely proud of this project, and what it means to the City of New York, said Gary Barnett, President of Extell Development. The International Gem Tower is a wonder of state-of-the-art technology that will put New York at the heart of the world diamond and gem industry. The overall benefits and economic impact of this project will reverberate for decades.

On May 27, the Foreign-Trade Zones Board of the United States Department of Commerce announced the approval of the International Gem Tower as a Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ). As a result, businesses located in the Tower will be permitted to import foreign merchandise without Customs entry or the payment of United States duties until the goods are sold. No duty will be payable on re-exported goods, explained Raizy Haas. We are offering complementary consultations with our FTZ consultant to interested diamond, gem and jewelry business owners who wish to understand exactly how much they can save by operating in a Foreign Trade Zone.