What is a Free Trade Zone? A free trade zone (FTZ)is a designated area that eliminates traditional trade barriers, such as tariffs, some kind of taxes and fees and minimizes bureaucratic regulations. The goal of a free trade zone is to enhance global market presence of the Country or location by attracting new business and foreign investments. Tax-free trade zones generate foreign exchange through exports, and create economic value added. Free, foreign, and export processing zones all fall under the umbrella of being free trade zones. Because these terms are confusingly similar, they are often used interchangeably.