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IoM Delegation Attends Liechtenstein Financial Conference

by Jason Gorringe,, London

16 October 2007

Treasury Minister Allan Bell MHK has this week joined in high-level discussions on the future of financial centres with senior banking, regulatory and political representatives from all over Europe.

Bell was among around 100 delegates invited to the annual Liechtenstein Dialogue, a prestigious forum that brings together decision-makers from such leading financial centres as Switzerland, Germany, Luxemburg, and the United Kingdom. Among the distinguished guest speakers was Angela Knight of the British Bankers’ Association; Franz-Hermann Bruner, Director General of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF); Beat Bernet, Managing Director of the Swiss Institute for Banking and Finance; and Guido Westerwelle, Chairman of the Free Democratic Party of Germany.

Reflecting on the value of the conference, Minister Bell said:

"This year, the Dialogue focussed on identifying promising business and products for financial centres and discussed the regulatory and government action needed to make such innovations work."

"I was pleased that I could bring to the discussion the Isle of Man’s experiences in several relevant areas. The strength of the cooperation between government and business is one of the keys to the Isle of Man’s success – success that has seen 24 years of continuing growth giving us a per capita GDP that is more than 25% higher than in the 15 countries that until 2004 constituted the European Union."

During the two-day conference in Vaduz, the principality’s capital, Minister Bell held private meetings with Prince Alois, Liechtenstein’s Head of State and Prime Minister Otmar Hasler, in which they discussed their nations’ aspirations for the future and the external issues that each faces.

Minister Bell explained:

"The Island is a well-regulated financial centre with a diverse and expanding economy and stable political environment. However we must remain alert to international developments. I am grateful Prince Alois and Prime Minister Hasler made the time to discuss with me areas of mutual interest. It is a guiding principle of the Dialogue that in today’s global economy institutions and governments need to meet and share their knowledge and experience."

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