A gateway into United Kingdom and European markets, Jersey has become a key facilitator of capital from overseas. It is ideally placed for company listings, cross-border transactions and fund servicing, while its long-standing commercial relationship with the City of London is valued by financial institutions and investors in Asia and other fast-growing regions of the world.
In banking and retail services, Jersey structures are used by firms in Asia as part of their strategic planning, while investment firms choose our Island for private equity investment and for property acquisitions and sales. Jersey is also an attractive jurisdiction for Asia’s increasing number of ultra-high net worth individuals and families who are looking to protect their global assets and support philanthropic ventures through trusts, foundations and other entities.
Jersey recognises the advantages of continuing to broaden and deepen its links with Asia, spanning political, commercial, cultural and educational spheres.
Making positive connections
The Government of Jersey recognises the advantages of continuing to broaden and deepen its links with Asia, spanning political, commercial, cultural and educational spheres. The global relations team within the Government of Jersey’s external relations department enjoys good bilateral relationships with many countries across the region through their Embassies and High Commissions in London and the governments in each country. With an ongoing focus on areas of mutual benefit, the Government will look to increase Jersey’s visibility in the region through activities such as ministerial and official visits now that most COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted. As detailed in the global relations strategy, Jersey will continue to prioritise its engagement with countries that can best fulfil the Island’s objectives and support economic growth.
Where communities come together
Jersey’s 2021 census highlights the number and diversity of diaspora communities from across Asia that have made the Island their home. The Philippines and Thailand both feature within the top 10 places of birth outside Europe, and nationals from many other Asian countries also live on Jersey. All of these diaspora communities, whatever their size, contribute to Island life in their own unique way, making Jersey a diverse and multicultural place. The Government of Jersey is committed to supporting these communities, whether it is by celebrating their culture and heritage or by helping with the practicalities of living abroad.
Jersey has an expanding treaty network with Asia. As the Island develops its international identity, distinct from the United Kingdom as a Crown Dependency, it is able to negotiate a range of agreements in its own right, from Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs) and Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) to Asset Recovery Agreements and sector-specific Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs). Jersey has DTAs with Hong Kong SAR and Singapore, which speaks to the Island’s strong connections with these two jurisdictions and our shared status as international finance centres (IFCs). We are keen to negotiate more DTAs in Asia, especially with countries that are hungry for greater foreign direct investment to support their continued growth.
Our first BIT was signed in 2021. These agreements work hand in hand with DTAs to help facilitate investment by giving
investors tax certainty and protection. Jersey will continue to work with Asian partners to advocate the advantages of negotiating DTAs and BITs, along with MoUs in other areas such as education, which help to boost cooperation and set out objectives for both sides. Jersey’s model DTA is based on the OECD Model Convention and has been revised to ensure full compliance with the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project. Our model BIT has been developed with expert legal advice and carefully tailored to Jersey’s mature, service-led economy. The high standards to which Jersey continues to hold these agreements shows the Island’s desire to be seen as a responsible global partner and a forward-thinking IFC.
Vital commercial ties
Outside of financial services, Jersey enjoys commercial ties in a number of Asian countries. Jersey Dairy has exported its UHT milk to Hong Kong SAR since 2014 and the volume of milk shipped to the territory continues to grow. Jersey Dairy products from the Island’s famous cows have been sold in 30 countries over the last decade, including mainland China, South Korea and Japan. Whelks caught around Jersey’s coast are also enjoyed in South Korea.
It is hoped that growing government-to-government links across the region will help to facilitate more export opportunities for Jersey’s artisanal producers in agriculture, food and drink. The Government of Jersey will continue to work alongside Jersey Business in supporting companies who are looking to expand into Asia.
Building a better world
A number of organisations in Jersey have supported conservation and development projects in countries across Asia. Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, established in 1959 by renowned author and conservationist Gerald Durrell, works around the world to save species from extinction. In Sumatra, Indonesia, Durrell has provided long-standing support for projects to protect the biodiversity of threatened tropical rainforests. This involves working with the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme, as well as training Sumatran conservationists at Durrell’s academy in Jersey to give them the knowledge and skills required to save endangered species.
Over the past two decades, Jersey Overseas Aid has supported a variety of projects in Asia as part of its work around the globe. This includes emergency relief work in Indonesia and Bangladesh, school building projects in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, and projects to increase access to sanitation and healthcare in Nepal.