Chinese ambassador pledges to work with Guernsey
The Chinese ambassador to the UK has pledged to work with Guernsey on a range of initiatives which could be of mutual benefit to the two jurisdictions.
His Excellency Liu Xiaoming spent four days in Guernsey last week. During the visit he pledged to assist with a number of initiatives that Guernsey has been developing with the Chinese market, including those culturally as well as commercially orientated.
Fiona Le Poidevin (pictured), chief executive of Guernsey Finance – the promotional agency for the island’s finance industry, says: “We had a series of very productive meetings with the ambassador and his officials during their time in Guernsey. The result is that there are a number of cultural and commercial initiatives which we all recognised could be of benefit to both jurisdictions and therefore both parties have agreed to undertake further work on these so that they can be progressed as quickly as possible.
“One of the areas where the ambassador recognised the potential mutual benefit of working together is financial services. For example, we are looking to consolidate the number of banking institutions based in the Island and Chinese banks would benefit from basing themselves here by being able to continue to service their clients when they become globally mobile and especially those who establish business operations in Europe.
“In addition, Guernsey can provide a gateway through which structures, including funds, can be established for investing out of and into China. Chinese clients might use a Guernsey vehicle for accessing European capital markets or alternatively, managers and investors globally might use funds domiciled in Guernsey for investing into China. There is still much work to do but as long as we play our part, then the ambassador has agreed to assist us in our work.”
The ambassador arrived in Guernsey on 23 April and departed on 26 April. During his visit, the ambassador undertook a series of cultural visits and met with the island’s ‘cabinet’, the States of Guernsey Policy Council, as well as tourism, agriculture and finance officials.
Le Poidevin says: “The ambassador said that he was impressed with our beautiful Island and pleased to learn of the links we have with China, including education, agriculture and the arts, as well as finance. Developing relationships at the highest level between the two jurisdictions helps open doors to many opportunities.”
Guernsey Finance established a representative office in Shanghai in 2007 and since then, there have been a number of delegations of senior officials in both directions. These have included Guernsey’s Chief Minister, Peter Harwood, meeting with Liu in London in October last year. At that time, the Chief Minister invited the ambassador to visit Guernsey and this came to fruition last week.
Liu’s predecessor, Madam Fu Ying, visited Guernsey in 2009 and a delegation from Guernsey visited her in Beijing the following year when she had become Vice Foreign Minister in the Chinese Government. It was shortly after this visit that Guernsey and China signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA).
The link with Madam Fu resulted in students from the Guernsey College of Further Education visiting her old school in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia last May. Now plans are in place for the second part of the exchange, with the Chinese students expected to visit Guernsey in May this year.
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