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Jersey team impressed by UAE's financial structure : Walker says

posted on 01/11/2002: 621 views

The 30-plus delegation to the UAE from Jersey, the Channel Islands, plans to make its first overseas mission to the UAE an annual event, Finance Minister Frank Walker disclosed at the conclusion of their seven-day visit. "Our reception in the UAE has fully justified our decision to target the Emirates for our first ever international trade mission. Our various meetings with Sheikhs, government organisations, banks, corporations and community groups have all served to underline the strong ties that already exist and the potential for future cooperation," said Senator Walker.

He pointed out that the figure quoted in the press recently of US$11 billion already on deposit in Jersey from the UAE did not include trust funds or investment products. The total amount of UAE-based money managed through the autonomous Channel Island could therefore be substantially higher. All together over $300 billion are invested in and through Jersey from all over the world, financial services accounting for 60 per cent of the island state's economy.

Walker pointed out that Jersey is not only a world-renowned financial centre but also enjoys the highest reputation for regulatory propriety and political stability, making it a safe haven in times of turmoil elsewhere in the world. "Every time there is a political upheaval or tragedy such as September 11 we see increasing investments in Jersey institutions and investment products. As well as having the highest quality financial and regulatory infrastructure it truly is a safe haven in times of political uncertainty," Walker added.

He said the delegation, led by First Minister Senator Pierre Horsfall, has also been extremely impressed with the financial and regulatory structure provided by the UAE Central Bank and the rapid growth of the country in many areas such as tourism. Noting the strong similarities between the UAE and Jersey in many areas - political stability, tourism, cleanliness, safety and financial services - Senator Walker said that two-way secondments have been suggested with the Central Bank. Jersey already serves as the head office of HSBC Middle East and many Jersey-based banks have operations in the UAE including Abbey National, Citibank, HSBC Bank International, Lloyds TSB, Standard Bank and Standard Chartered Grindlays. National Bank of Dubai has a branch on the island which hosts a total of 62 banks, all of which must rank among the world's top 500 in order to qualify for consideration. Although loyal to the British crown, Jersey has its own autonomous government and is not a member of the European Union. This unique status makes the island a preferred location for financial services and related industries. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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