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Asian role can bolsters islands’ EU position, says Jersey adviser

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The Channel Islands can enhance their value to Europe Union through business growth in emerging markets, according to the former chairman of the Jersey Financial Services Commission, the island’s financial regulator.

Colin Powell, now adviser on international affairs to the States of Jersey and chairman of the Offshore Group of Banking Supervisors, believes there are particularly good business opportunities for the Channel Islands in tapping the growth economies of China and India.
 
“The islands’ expertise in specialist funds, special purpose vehicles and wealth protection should be of particular appeal in these markets,” Powell told delegates at the recent Channel Islands Stock Exchange Business Summit.
 
Powell argues that attracting a larger share of business from Asian markets would strengthen the islands’ economies. “Also, by attracting more funds that are upstreamed to European markets through banks and investment funds, the islands strengthen their value to the EU and thereby their position in negotiations,” he said.
 
Powell was one of 18 international financial services practitioners to speak at the second CISX summit, which was staged this year in Jersey and attracted more than 250 delegates. The first summit took place last year in Guernsey.
 
According to CISX chief executive Tamara Menteshvili (pictured), the summit helps to demonstrate the reliability of the Channel Islands as finance centres. “Visiting the islands provides the most immediate experience of that,” she says.
 
“In a world which is increasingly interconnected, it’s important for global business leaders to understand what the Channel Islands are really about. We are saying, if you’re interested in us, come and see us. We had attendees at the summit from South Africa, the UK, Switzerland, and the US – a great mix.”
 
According to Menteshvili, clients who list products on the CISX often use other financial services in the islands, domiciling funds or using custodial and accounting services.

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