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British Channel Islands Close Ranks With New Internet Portal

Robert Lee, Tax-news.com, London

15 December 2000


The Channel Islands this week witnessed the launch of a brand new Internet portal which links all of the governments, businesses and information services in Guernsey, Jersey, Sark and Alderney. The most significant feature of the site is that it presents a united front from the Channel Islands and cements them as a group. A press release from the States of Alderney clearly suggests that a key reason why the new portal has been established was the external scrutiny that the Channel Islands have endured this year. Its opening line reads: 'Recent pressures arising from the OECD, the European Union and the United Kingdom have highlighted the need for the individual Channel Islands to join forces and present a united front.'

The much-heralded website, www.britishchannelislands.org, was also spurred on by conclusions reached at a recent Institute of Directors’ conference in Guernsey, when representatives from the business community called for a global Channel Islands-wide approach to political and economical situations developing outside the Channel Islands but which could ultimately have a major effect on the Channel Islands. Moreover, at a press briefing in May 2000, representatives of Alderney’s e-taskforce also stressed the need for all the Channel Islands to adopt a global corporate identity on the Internet by branding the Channel Islands as a group known worldwide as the British Channel Islands.

The new website is essentially an "info-portal", which aims to be the official "Internet gateway" to Jersey, Guernsey, Sark, Alderney and Herm. It provides a general overview of the Channel Islands as a group, and projects the group’s strength as a successful e-commerce and finance centre as well as a desirable tourist destination. Links are provided to the relevant websites of each individual island. The press release from Alderney stated: 'The British Channel Islands brand name will project the identity of the islands as an e-commerce hub, while at the same time eliminating the present confusion caused by the existence of the other Channel Islands in the United States (Catalina).'

The new portal was designed and implemented by Alderney businessmen David Earl, Nigel Roberts of Island Networks and Paul Ninnim of GuernseyNet. It is sponsored by the States of Alderney’s Policy & Finance Committee. Alderney States Treasurer Adrian Lewis commented: 'The portal is Alderney’s contribution to the worldwide branding and marketing initiative of the British Channel Islands. We believe such a marketing tool is essential in promoting the Channel Islands as a major player in the European e-commerce field.'


Alderney’s contribution has been welcomed by Peter Griffiths, IS/IT Strategy Adviser to Jersey’s Policy & Resources Committee. Commenting on the launch of the portal, Mr Griffiths said: 'The Jersey Information Society Commission is fully in support of this initiative. It will provide another information source on the Islands and will reinforce the collective nature of the Channel Islands as competitors to other Island jurisdictions, such as the Caribbean. It will also act as a useful 'catch-all'; to ensure that visitors to both the individual Islands and the Channel Islands receive a welcome. We look forward to actively participating in the British Channel Islands project.'

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