Chinese sees us as a bridgehead into EU

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The Chinese government sees the Isle of Man as a ‘bridgehead’ into Europe, says the Manx government Minister who led a recent trade mission to the Far East.

During a five-day visit to Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai, the Manx delegation had a series of meetings with Chinese government officials and decision makers in major Chinese businesses and key business associations.

During the trade mission, Mr Shimmin exchanged a signed statement of co-operation with the chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, Shang Fulin, in Beijing.

This document, which was presented on behalf of the island’s Financial Supervision Commission, is a necessary first step to enable Chinese banks to establish an operation in the Isle of Man.

Mr Shimmin spoke about the visit in the regular ministerial press conference with journalists last week.

He said that the Manx government was committed to forging stronger links with China, one of the world’s fast growing economies.

It hoped to build on the Isle of Man’s unique Customs relationship with the UK and EU to allow us to become a conduit for Chinese imports into Europe - a view shared by the Chinese authorities.

Mr Shimmin told the Examiner: ‘The Chinese government sees the Isle of Man as bridgehead into Europe.’

He said Chinese businesses had shown ‘enormous interest’ during the trade mission in the island’s ability to provide a ‘one-stop shop’ for Chinese exporters seeking to establish a trading hub for the UK or Europe.

Last month, the island welcomed the Chinese Ambassador to the United Kingdom, His Excellency Liu Xiaoming on a three-day visit.

Mr Shimmin said his department was committed to facilitating more trade delegations to China as well as hosting further visiting delegations to the Isle of Man.

There will be four Chinese delegations to the island in the next three months alone, he revealed.

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