An audience of over 100, including a number of MPs and MEPs, heard about the role that Jersey’s finance industry can play in attracting international business to the UK at a Conservative Party Conference event in Birmingham this week.
Speaking at a fringe event at the Conference on Sunday hosted by the Adam Smith Institute and entitled ‘Tax Reform: Blueprint for a Revolution’, Geoff Cook, chief executive of Jersey Finance, told the audience that Jersey can act as an important conduit in channelling investment into the UK. He said:
“There is still often a fundamental lack of understanding of the benefits the Crown Dependencies bring to the UK, in terms of facilitating the flow of capital and encouraging overseas investment. In recent years, for example, there has been considerable growth in the number of businesses choosing a Jersey company as a holding company, through which the UK gains business from emerging markets such as China, India and the Middle East.”
Discussing the importance of tax competition, he added that Jersey competes for business on exactly the same basis as 70 other countries which offer some kind of benign tax neutral regime – through a mix of business expertise, political and social stability, modern infrastructure, good communications and sound regulation:
“There has been much debate in the UK recently about how the country can build a more competitive economy, with the Government recently announcing its ambition to have the “most competitive corporate tax system in the G20”. Tax competition is good for all economies. It leaves more capital in the productive side of the economy, which generates greater economic activity and wealth, which in turn is available for reinvestment.”
Also speaking at the event were Dr Madsen Pirie, President of the Adam Smith Institute, Douglas Carswell MP who spoke about reforming local taxation, Allister Heath, Editor of City AM who spoke on flat taxes, and Richard Teather, Senior Lecturer in Tax Law at the University of Bournemouth who spoke about the principles of tax competition. Commenting on the significance of the event, Mr Cook said:
“By working with the UK and the City of London, Jersey can play a role in stimulating investment and growth, but for that to work most effectively there needs to be a proper understanding of how tax competition can be beneficial and of the real value of international finance centres like Jersey. For that reason, having the opportunity to speak to an audience of UK politicians and party activists was very welcome indeed.”
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