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Jersey delegation to China highlights Island’s role as gateway to Europe

Date
26 November 2013

Meetings and seminars held in mainland China (Shenzhen) and Hong Kong recently by representatives from a Jersey delegation provided a platform for Jersey firms to engage directly with relevant businesses in the Far East and discuss commercial opportunities. 

The visit, organised by Locate Jersey, included two seminars entitled ‘Gateway to Jersey’ in Shenzhen and Hong Kong, to audiences of nearly 150 delegates, in which Jersey officials, led by Assistant Minister for Economic Development for the States of Jersey, Deputy James Baker, and business leaders highlighted the range of commercial opportunities available to Chinese businesses in accessing European markets through Jersey. 

The reciprocal seminar in Hong Kong included a welcome from the Director General of InvestHK and two panel discussions. In the first panel session, Nick Winsor, Chief Executive of HSBC Bank International Limited; Robert Ayliffe, Managing Director (Singapore) Capita; Geoff Cook, Chief Executive of Jersey Finance; Joanna Hon, Senior Vice President, Head of Sales & Marketing Asia, CPA Global; and Joe Moynihan, Director of Financial Services in the States of Jersey, discussed how companies can use Jersey for structuring and accessing European markets.

The second panel session was devoted to how Chinese firms might use Jersey as a base for their European operations. Alan Cox, Chief Executive at Indigo Lighthouse; Graham Hughes, Chief Executive at Sure International and Wayne Gallichan, Director Inward Investment at Locate Jersey featured on the panel and focused on how Chinese businesses, particularly those in E-Commerce, fulfilment and telecommunications, could grow their global reach in Europe through Jersey.

In the event in Shenzhen, which is a major business and financial city in southern China, there were presentations on Jersey’s finance industry role in structuring investment vehicles, the benefits of using Jersey for ecommerce in accessing the European online market and the opportunities and benefits of using Jersey as a centre for telecommunications. Communications technology firm Huawei is headquartered in Shenzhen. 

A key meeting was also held with top Government and economic officials including the Deputy Director General from the Economy, Trade and Information Commission of Shenzhen Municipality.

Deputy James Baker, who was also the keynote speaker at both seminars, commented: 

‘It was an extremely valuable visit in building relationship with Chinese firms. We had plenty of opportunity to explain the benefits of Jersey as a business location and specifically as a gateway to European markets to influential government representatives, industry association leaders and prominent businesses. The high level meeting with government officials which took place in Shenzhen was a productive one and we are anticipating that Shenzhen will send a delegation to Jersey in 2014.’

Wayne Gallichan added: ‘The feedback from the Jersey business representatives that took part in the visit has been positive including notification of some immediate follow up business. A number of firms based in China are in discussion with local firms, while further introductions were made which have the potential to generate new business from China in the months ahead.’

During the visit, Locate Jersey representatives also attended the Financial Times IFC Forum Asia Conference and hosted a briefing reception with Jersey firms based in Hong Kong to build awareness and expand the Island’s network of key contacts. HSBC also held a private dinner for the Jersey delegation at their Asian Headquarters in Hong Kong, hosted by Nick Winsor, CEO, HSBC Channel Islands and Isle of Man.

The visit to the region forms part of a significant programme of activity for Locate Jersey with mainland China this year. Most recently, a delegation from Hangzhou, one of mainland China’s fastest growing cities, was in Jersey at the invitation of Locate Jersey to explore digital opportunities with local businesses.