Monday 28 July 2014
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Monday 28 July 2014
Friday 25 July 2014
It is six months since the launch of Guernsey's Economic Development Framework and the following sets out the progress made to date.
Minister, Deputy Kevin Stewart, said:
"C&E is delivering to the published timeline on the majority of work streams but there is always further key work that needs to be undertaken - some proactive, some reactive. The business landscape is changing quickly and C&E has and continues to realign budgets and priorities in order to react to and facilitate market and business needs, not only in business development but also in promotion and regulation. "
A considerable amount of time, prior and since the launch, has been spent on evidence based research work across various economic sectors, and on business infrastructure and enabler studies. Maintaining and nurturing competitiveness has been at the forefront of this work with particular reference to resilience, affordability and quality.
Deputy Stewart continued:
"The C&E Board is conscious that the majority of the work to date has been foundation work, and the business community and general public rightfully want to see tangible deliverables. Policy and legislative developments are not always obvious, and particularly in financial services we have achieved key deliverables in this area, with more coming online in the second half of the year. The next phase of the economic development framework will potentially see more tangible deliverables, but funding investment - above and beyond that afforded in the C&E cash limit - will be required to bring some of the strategic aims and creative plans into fruition. As a jurisdiction we need to continue to be creative and strive for success. "
C&E has submitted a Finance Sector Innovation and Diversification strategic development bid to the Treasury and Resources Department (T&R). The finance bid focuses on additional monies to facilitate research and fast track development of new and innovative e-finance policy and associated legislation, within an increasingly digitised global economy.
A second bid, in relation to the creation of a Digital Innovation Centre, will be submitted to T&R before the end of the month. The innovation centre project ties developing digital wisdom within our community to a "hot bed" business incubator hub and much needed investment in an ICT coding academy to nurture local talent in this growth area.
A one-off budgetary request for marketing and tourism, within budgetary guidelines, has also been submitted on a business case basis so that television, as a marketing channel, can potentially be reintroduced as part of the integrated "VisitGuernsey" promotional strategy and invigorate early season campaigns.
Deputy Al Brouard, Deputy Minister, explained:
"As part of moving from the research and development phase to implementation phase, under the umbrella of the economic development framework, the Board unanimously supported three specific bids to underpin our economic development work and to ensure that, in partnership with business and stakeholder groups, we move ahead with some momentum."
"It is absolutely understood that the States is financially challenged and that committing money to new initiatives will not be considered lightly. However, the C&E Board believe that it is vital and timely to further invest in the economy, in a considered way, in order to not only stimulate economic growth in mature sectors, but also to nurture new opportunities. We respect that there are competing demands but the Board believes that investing in the economy is vital".
Deputy De Lisle, Board Member, has been really encouraged that Industry is working closely with Government on the development of a visitor economy strategy as well as a retail strategy:
"There has already been a lot of proactive work undertaken on a diverse range of topics to ensure Guernsey's visitor offering, where to stay and how to get here, is future proofed, in terms of the product offering. I am looking forward to the full proposals that will be put forward in relation to an integrated tourism plan. In real terms, the tourism budget has been declining over recent years and I am very keen to see tourism get a cash injection for television, so that we can benchmark this performance and strive for incremental growth in 2015".
Deputy Laurie Queripel, Board Member, is a committed supporter of ensuring that our resident workforce develops the right type of skills:
"Research into work based skills, our capability and identifying likely medium and long term gaps is a really important piece of work. Coding and digital skills are clearly important but I am also extremely interested to see the outcome of the skills based research in relation to trades, tourism and hospitality, manufacturing and engineering. Our workforce is key to on-going success and the evolution of the island's business community across all sectors. Guernsey needs to continue to invest in a well thought out, pragmatic and meaningful way".
The workstream and business case to establish a digital innovation centre is being championed by Deputy Heidi Soulsby, Board Member and Member of the States ICT Strategic Working Group:
"The focus of the innovation centre includes co-working space, offices for start-ups, a Coding Academy and Community Digital Drop-in Centre. Key stakeholders in the development of the bid include Skills Guernsey, the GTA and StartUp Guernsey. The centre would also be a real asset for the testing and roll-out of new e-government and community services as the Island evolves in this digital age."
In terms of wider strategic reviews into ICT infrastructure and connectivity, the Board have been disappointed on the timeframe to get clear recommendations from an independent business connectivity review. Members have found this frustratingly slow, despite respectfully understanding the need to follow due process with regards to consultation and review. The Board looks forward to reviewing the final recommendations once they are released in the autumn, at which time the Board will be in a position to determine any necessary changes in policy direction.
The Department has commenced constructive discussions with the telecommunications operators on working towards published service standards for broadband, and has also worked in collaboration with CICRA to assess the resilience and service performance of home users through a research pilot study undertaken by specialist technical consultants.
In November the Department will arrange presentations and question time sessions to report on 2014 progress against targets and set out opportunities, identified priorities as well as challenges for 2015.