Jersey Finance has undertaken further promotional activity in India this month following the signing of the Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) with India in November, which was seen by Jersey as a landmark in helping develop closer commercial ties with Indian companies and investors.

No fewer than 10 Jersey firms joined Jersey Finance representatives at the recent International Taxation Conference at the ITC Maratha Hotel in Mumbai where Jersey Finance was a gold sponsor. As part of its sponsorship, Jersey Finance had a speaker session within the conference schedule and Richard Teather, a senior lecturer at Bournemouth University and offshore academic, spoke on the implementation of GST in Jersey and how such a model might be adopted by India also. He was joined by Patrick Crowley, Head of ABN AMRO Bank in Jersey, whose presentation was on wealth management opportunities for Indians, and Sean Costello, Jersey Finance’s regional head of Business Development for India, who highlighted Jersey’s role as a tax neutral centre for structuring investments.

Alongside participation in the conference, Jersey Finance sponsored a networking dinner and had the opportunity to man an exhibition stand throughout the three day event where according to Sean Costello there was ‘overwhelming interest’ in the products and services Jersey can provide with particular interest in structuring investments and wealth management.

The annual event, one of the premier taxation conferences in the world, is organised by the Foundation for International Taxation, a registered educational charitable trust in India established to promote the knowledge and understanding of international taxation.
This year nearly 500 international delegates attended, a record for the event, now in its 17th year.

In New Delhi recently, Jersey Finance welcomed more than 30 guests to a formal reception to mark the signing of the TIEA. Sean Costello, who hosted the event, added:

‘The guests were led by an important Indian Finance Ministry official, Kamlesh Varsney, Director of Foreign Tax and Tax Research, Department of Revenue, at the Ministry of Finance. There were also many leading Delhi based finance professionals, who were invited to the occasion and it proved an ideal opportunity to cement our growing contacts in the city.’

Geoff Cook, chief executive, Jersey Finance Limited, said:

‘We are making significant strides in developing the profile of Jersey in the key cities of Mumbai and New Delhi where Jersey Finance now has a permanent representative team and these two events were the culmination of an increasing marketing drive during 2011.’

Jersey is experiencing business growth from India. While there are no specific Jersey figures available, the Reserve Bank of India estimates that in bound direct investment from the Channel Islands was US$ 516 million in 2010, more than ten times the figure a year earlier.

Many Indian real estate, infrastructure and private equity funds have been established using feeder structures which are managed and administered in Jersey, while Indian residents are using Jersey companies to assist them in investing overseas, particularly into real estate. Jersey legal and finance professionals are also engaged in the formation of offshore funds and transactions dedicated to investment in India, mainly focused on acquisitions, financings and listings.