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South African Companies Continue To Favour Isle Of Man For Foreign Investment

by Amanda Banks,

15 May 2001

South Africa has become a major trading partner with the Isle of Man in recent years with at least 35 of its largest companies operating on the island reaping the rewards of the Manx government's low tax regime, and financial ties between the two parties are going from strength to strength. This is according to former Chief Minister, Sir Miles Walker, who accompanied a 40-strong delegation to South Africa last week, including officials from the Isle of Man government and business sector, with the express aim of promoting foreign investment in the Isle of Man.

The delegation held conferences in Johnannesburg and Cape Town last week. The two events were attended by approximately 500 financial, legal and business professionals and the Cape Town event was supplemented by access to the island's BT Global Challenge yacht, which was visited by the conference delegates and many additional visitors.

Sir Miles explained: 'Although attendance was by invitation only, interest was swelled by a considerable number of people who had heard about the Island's involvement in the BT Global Challenge and expressed a wish to attend or were simply invited by friends or other business acquaintances ... there is no doubt that there is considerable interest in and affinity for the Island from the business community in South Africa. Our delegation was well received everywhere we went, relationships were consolidated and new business was established by those connected with the delegation, with expectations of more to come.'

He added that although the recent reform of South Africa's taxation system had made it 'less advantageous' for particular types of South African companies to invest in subsidiaries abroad, 'the fact that many South Africans had already heard of the Island and that we are generally held in high regard for our regulatory standards and business ethics has, in particular, ensured that we remain a leading contender for personal investment and wealth management despite considerable competition from other offshore business centres ... we have consolidated our position as a leading international service provider for South African investment.'


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