The Treasury Minister has just returned from a trade delegation visit to India, where he held talks with senior officials at the Ministry of Finance. It was agreed that work should proceed to conclude a tax agreement between India and Jersey. It was also agreed to set up a formal system of briefings, to keep the Indian government informed about Jersey’s developing relationships with Indian businesses.

Senator Philip Ozouf said “We are expecting significant trade flows to come out of a series of meetings we held with leading business people, and we have agreed to keep government officials informed as part of our developing relationship.

“I am now convinced that if we are to make significant progress in this important emerging market, we need to have permanent representation in India. There is enough good quality business there which would provide investment in Jersey and the opportunity for Jersey firms to expand using Indian technical specialists. I will be discussing this possibility with the Chief Minister, the Economic Development Minister and Jersey Finance.”

During the visit, Senator Ozouf worked to raise Jersey ’s profile in India. He gave interviews to many of the major broadcast organisations and broadsheets – including CNBC, Economic Times of India, Times of India, Hindustan Times, Financial Express, Financial Chronicle and the Hindi daily, Dainik Bhaskar.

Senator Ozouf added “There has been strong media coverage of our visit, and it was a very useful trip. There was a good response to our business and ministry briefings; we now need to move ahead with negotiating a tax agreement and I will certainly be discussing the resource implications of opening an office in India with my colleagues.

“Jersey is well placed to provide Indian businesses with a key gateway to European capital markets. We can help Indian firms with their corporate finance structuring and to obtain a listing on the London Stock Exchanges, but we need people on the ground to raise awareness so that Jersey is the first choice in a highly competitive market.

“I was struck by the continued growth in the Indian economy. It’s a country which has weathered the global crisis remarkably well, and as confidence resumes around the world, businesses in India will be ready to invest outside their own country. We need to be ready.”