A delegation of politicians, officials and business leaders from Guernsey will visit India next month to enhance financial services links between the two jurisdictions.
The trip will build on links forged prior to the global economic crisis, according to Paul Christopher (pictured), a partner at Channel Islands law firm Ozannes.
“Ozannes has advised on funds with India-based assets including property and infrastructure,” Christopher says. “Before the economic crisis there were lots of projects on the blocks. Now we see it as a growth area and a very important future market.”
He says one promising source of new business could be funds domiciled in Guernsey that invest into India through intermediate jurisdictions such as Mauritius, Singapore or the Netherlands.
“Wealthy Indian families are highly mobile globally, so it’s also about capturing a market for investment in a neutral jurisdiction like Guernsey,” Christopher says.
The delegation will be led by Carla McNulty Bauer, Guernsey’s minister for commerce and employment, and will include representatives from Ozannes and Guernsey law firm Collas Day as well as service providers State Street, Legis, Dominion Fund Management and Richmond Fiduciary Group.
Other members of the party will be Rob Gray, Guernsey’s director of income tax, Jonathan Hooley, chairman of the Channel Islands Stock Exchange, and Peter Niven, chief executive of industry promotional body Guernsey Finance.
“A significant number of Guernsey firms are already active in the Indian market but we want to be able to make it easier for them and others to maximise their return,” Niven says.
“Central to this is educating the widest possible cross-section of the Indian community about Guernsey’s position as a leading international finance centre and what we can offer businesses and individuals in terms of financial products and services, such as investment funds, stock exchange listings and wealth management solutions.”
Guernsey established a representative office in China more than two years ago, but the latest trip represents the island’s first official marketing activity in India. The trip follows a visit to India by an official delegation from Jersey last November.