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Opportunities In India For Guernsey

by Jason Gorringe,, London

27 October 2010

Guernsey’s finance industry has significant opportunities to win business in India, according to Peter Niven, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance – the promotional agency for the Island’s finance industry.

His comments were made following a week-long visit by a Guernsey delegation to Delhi and Mumbai, organized by Guernsey Finance and led by Deputy Carla McNulty Bauer, Minister for Commerce and Employment. The official visit was the first such event coordinated by the island, in what Niven described as “a very fruitful trip”.

Commenting after the trip, Niven said:

“We have had a lot of meetings across both Delhi and Mumbai with some very senior government, regulatory and business officials as well as very many industry practitioners such as leading lawyers and accountants. In addition, we also hosted our own specific Guernsey event in Mumbai which proved to be an extremely popular networking opportunity attended by more than 50 officials and business introducers.”

“Our objective has been both to inform our hosts about Guernsey, and about our potential to do business together in the future.”

“The delegation was very well received, we have had very positive feedback and there has been a lot of interest in what Guernsey can offer but this is where the hard work really starts.”

“There are plenty of opportunities and not just in the investment funds sector but also the wealth management arena and possibly also for our captive insurance industry. However, if we are to fully reap the benefits of the contacts we have made and the relationships we have built, then it is important we progress a number of initiatives in the coming weeks and months.”

The Guernsey delegation included representatives from Channel Islands entities including Paul Christopher from Mourant Ozannes, Stuart Platt-Ransom of the Legis Group, State Street’s Gerald Hough, Robin Fuller from Dominion Fund Management and Joe Truelove from Kleinwort Benson.

The delegation began in Delhi on October 18 where there were meetings with the India Venture Capital Association and Bharti Enterprises (the parent group of Airtel-Vodafone in Guernsey) as well as the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. The party then spent three days from October 20 in Mumbai visiting the Reserve Bank of India, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the British Deputy High Commission. There were also meetings with key financial services practitioners and business introducers including the top legal and accounting firms in the two cities.

“We had a very intensive week of activity,” said Deputy McNulty Bauer. “I was delighted with the amount of interest in Guernsey and its product and service offering – indeed, my expectations were exceeded.”

“It is now important that we build on those relationships and grow and develop our presence in India which will contribute towards taking advantage of the opportunities that are and will grow in India in order to maximise the benefit to Guernsey of diversifying the financial services sector into this emerging continent.”

The Guernsey government also plans to represent the jurisdiction at the Asia Venture Capital Journal Private Equity and Venture Forum in Mumbai at the start of December, a delegation for which will be led by Niven.

This will come in the wake of a delegation to Beijing and Shanghai from November 1 to November 8 headed by Guernsey’s Chief Minister, Deputy Lyndon Trott, and which will be immediately followed by Niven leading another trade delegation to wealth management and investment fund conferences in Hong Kong.

TAGS: tax | investment | business | India | law | financial services | insurance | investment funds | international financial centres (IFC) | China | Guernsey | offshore | captive insurance | Hong Kong | services

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