JERSEY needs to be aware of all the opportunities that India and its people offer Jersey, according to a senior Indian banker.

Chief Executive Officer of Barclays Wealth India Satya Bansal was speaking at Barclays Wealth event to discuss the emergence of India and its likely benefits and impact on the Jersey economy. In comparison to the rest of the world, India has been one of the most resilient economies. In 2008, growth was 6% and in 2009 it is predicted to be 6.5%. The domestic service industry accounts for 34% of GDP and its dependence of export is less than 15% of GDP.

‘Indians have expanded globally so there are know thousands of non-resident Indians around the world and that pool of Indian families outside of India is a pool that needs to be tapped and can easily be tapped by Jersey,’ he said.

‘A lot of Indian companies are also growing and they will look to offshore jurisdictions for help and advice and Jersey needs to be one that they look at. A centre like Jersey is very important to the emerging world. As the growth of the global economy shifts eastward, the offshore jurisdictions need to have close links. It’s a huge market and even if a small part of it can come to Jersey then it will have a huge impact.’

Mr Bansal was joined on the panel by Minister for Treasury & Resources Senator Philip Ozouf, Rajesh Mirjankar, president of Enterprise Solutions & Services Group at InafrasoftTech in Jersey which is a specialist financial services company, Arthur da Gama, vice-president of Barclays Wealth Private Bank and Neel Sahai, Minerva Financial Services’ director.

Senator Ozouf said that Jersey’s relationship with India is incredibly valuable and the most important the island had within the Asian Pacific area. He said that investment into Jersey by Indian companies had already had benefits, including Airtel-Vodafone which had increased competition within the telecoms market.

‘There is a lot more that Indian and Jersey companies can do. India in incredibly important and it’s a big opportunity for Jersey,’ he said

Mr Sahai said Minerva Financial Services had seen a number of areas where there was an opportunity for Jersey to work with India and cited that the main one was listing work as using offshore companies to list on the Alternative Investment Market was popular and that Jersey had an enviable level of expertise in this area. He added that Indian families moving in and out of India required trust, foundation and offshore structures which could all be provided by Jersey companies.

But Mr Mirjankar said that Jersey needed to continue promoting itself in order to compete with other jurisdictions,

‘Indians tend to think of Mauritius first when they think of offshore but Jersey could easily be the first place they chose. We have done a lot to appeal to the outside world and we need to continue. We have a vast amount of experience here.’

The panel described Mauritius as a corridor for investment in India due to its tax position but that it lacked the expertise found in Jersey.

Senator Ozouf said the States fully understood the importance of tax neutrality on and that the best brains available were working on the current question marks over zero/ten. He also added that on the forthcoming visit to India, discussing a double tax agreement would be on the agenda.

But he said that as Jersey continued to demonstrate its global standing, its reputation and ratings would continue to open doors.

‘The States of Jersey intends to do this as well by fortifying the resources of Jersey Finance to ensure that we can boost marketing in India and increase our visibility,’ he said.

‘We need to continue offering the best value and delivering world-beating legislation and then we will continue to be ahead of other jurisdictions.’

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Issued by Katrina Bray, Image PR, tel (01481) 723456 or email katrina.bray@imageci.com