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Isle of Man’s Chief Minister attends Overseas Territories meeting

Chief Minister Allan Bell MHK

Chief Minister Allan Bell MHK

  • by Jackie Turley
 

Chief Minister Allan Bell underlined the Isle of Man’s position as a leader in the field of economic innovation at an Overseas Territories meeting.

He was a panel member for a discussion on economic opportunities at the Overseas Territorial Joint Ministerial Council, hosted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London.

Mr Bell said it was the first time a chief minister from a Crown Dependency had been invited.

‘I was able to share the story of the island’s journey from relative poverty 30 years ago to the position today where it is recognised as a leader in the fields of economic innovation and international engagement,’ he said.

‘But it was also an opportunity to learn from the Overseas Territories, who share many common challenges with the Crown Dependencies, and to hear their views on issues such as tax transparency.’

The Chief Minister, the only politician from the Crown Dependencies to attend the event, was the guest of Mark Simmonds, FCO Minister responsible for the Overseas Territories.

Mr Bell said the invitation came following a meeting with the MP in October, during which Mr Simmonds said he supported the work of the Small Countries Financial Management Programme and the support the Isle of Man is giving to Sierra Leone’s fishing sector.

He said the island’s experience of developing from a near bankrupt state to a fast growing economy, and developing new skills to deal with the evolving international agenda, was well received.

‘Many small jurisdictions are having to adjust to those same pressures and therefore listening to our experience was well received by those facing similar problems.’

He added: ‘Overall it helps to reinforce the message the Isle of Man has been promoting that we are a responsible international business centre.

‘We work actively as part of the international community to help developing countries and it recognises the work we have done to shake off the tax haven label.’

 

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