Tangible benefits to Jersey are now being realised as a result of the ongoing commitment to building relationships with China, according to the head of the body that promotes Jersey as a finance centre.
During an intensive eight day visit to Greater China and Hong Kong, a delegation from Jersey, including Chief Minister Terry Le Sueur and Assistant Chief Minister, UK and International Relations Senator Freddie Cohen, met with a number of key industry and state officials in Hong Kong, Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai. Geoff Cook, chief executive of Jersey Finance, believes Jersey’s reputation as a world-class finance centre and gateway for Chinese investment into Europe has become significantly enhanced as a result:
‘During this visit we were able to meet with some very senior people. In Beijing, for example, we were privileged to meet Mr Lin Wenjun, Director of the Ministry of Commerce, with whom we discussed Jersey’s role in the growing trade links between the UK and China. We were received very positively and now hope to help arrange for representatives of the Ministry to visit Jersey in due course and for Jersey to participate in their delegation meetings in London.’
Another highlight of the visit was in Shanghai, when Geoff Cook had the opportunity to speak at the Offshore Investment Conference 2011 about Jersey’s private client expertise and its attraction as a gateway for Chinese investors into Europe to an audience of over 70 senior Chinese finance and legal professionals. Also in Shanghai, the Jersey team met Vice Chairman Jiang Liang, District Head of Pudong, and Dr Fang Xiang Hui, Director General of Financial Services, Shanghai Municipal Government and the architect of Shanghai’s ’20:20 Vision’ to become China’s main financial centre.
In Tianjin, the Jersey group was granted high level access to a number of officials, including Mr Cui Jindu, Vice Mayor of Tianjin, Mr Du Qiang, Director-General of Tianjin Financial Services Office and Mr Guo Mingqi, Director-General of Tianjin CBRC, as well as representatives of the Dong Jiang Free Trade Port Zone of Tianjin. Jersey’s closer links with Tianjin and opportunities in commercial marine and aviation leasing and ‘cleantech’ investment were discussed at the meeting, which fittingly took place a year to the day since a delegation from Tianjin visited Jersey.
Jersey’s reputation was also enhanced during the trip through numerous interviews with key Chinese national, regional and business media, who were interested to hear about Jersey’s high standards of regulation and strength of financial services, particularly its core capabilities in private wealth management and helping Chinese companies with listings work.
Geoff Cook added:
‘There’s no doubt that the effort that Jersey Finance and the States of Jersey have put into building positive, long-term relationships with China is bringing us real, tangible benefits. During this trip it was encouraging that we were granted audience with very senior industry professionals and government officials, who were familiar with Jersey as a high quality finance centre. It is also a mutual partnership – for example, it is interesting that Tianjin has had a financial services industry for only a few years and were interested in learning from a jurisdiction like Jersey with its 50 years of experience.
‘It was pleasing to hear that Jersey’s expertise in corporate listings work, with a quarter of the 60 Chinese companies listed on AIM, is widely recognized and that there is appetite from a senior level to engage with Jersey. This will help bring more work to Jersey, place more business through Jersey firms and ultimately create jobs.’
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