Monday 10 February 2014
The Commerce and Employment Department, working closely with the Policy Council's Fiscal and Economic Group, has today set out a framework for the continued success of the Island's economy. The Department and Policy Council, taking into account feedback received from the business and wider community through a public consultation process, have produced a Strategic Framework for Guernsey's Economic Development, which is published today.
The framework sets out four objectives which will enable the Commerce and Employment Department to exercise its mandate to advise the States on matters relating to the creation of a dynamic and diversified economy. These are:
- to develop the Island's existing economic sectors;
- to support emerging economic sectors;
- to make Guernsey work for businesses and help businesses get the best from Guernsey; and
- to track the development of the Island's economy.
Launching the framework, Deputy Kevin Stewart, Minister for Commerce and Employment, said:
"It is essential for the continued wellbeing of the Island's economy that Guernsey remains an excellent place to do business, both for local and international businesses already working in Guernsey, and for potential investors looking to benefit from our business offering."
"We recognise that to strengthen what is already a successful economy, we must develop the existing range of businesses on Guernsey, but we are also mindful that we cannot be complacent, and that in order for our economy to continue evolving, we also need to support emerging sectors, and make it possible for businesses to thrive on the Island".
Deputy Peter Harwood, Guernsey's Chief Minister, commented:
"The outline framework for Guernsey's economic development represents a vital contribution to the aims of the States Strategic Plan that was debated and approved by the States of Deliberation in March last year. It addresses the need to actively encourage and support opportunities for competitive high value growth that will benefit the Island's economy."
The overriding aim of the framework is for Commerce and Employment, as a Department and as part of the wider government of the Island, to continue to support and promote a diverse finance industry as the main engine of growth in the economy, and at the same time, focus on encouraging the growth of other sectors of the economy by encouraging competitive pricing, high skill levels, infrastructure and appropriate legislation and regulation.
In developing the framework, the Department recognises that Guernsey needs to have an economy that is of high value and delivers prosperity for both businesses and individuals. Guernsey's economy should be sustainable, diversified and resilient, and at the same time, development of the economy should respect the unique quality of place that results in Guernsey being an excellent place to live and in which do to business. Above all, the Department recognises that Guernsey's economy should:
- be open and conducive for business;
- be balanced and competitive
- encourage high value added, low environmental impact activities;
- invest in people to achieve high skill levels in order to make the Island's workforce more competitive in an international context;
- invest in high quality infrastructure and communications; and
- be able to provide the conditions that encourage enterprise and successful business.
The framework contains 27 Strategic Aims, which includes work to support existing sectors - including the finance industry, retail sector, visitor economy, and eGaming - as well as new and emerging sectors, such as the digital and information and communication technologies sectors, and the creative industries. The framework also sets out work directed at improving the conditions for doing business in Guernsey. This includes work to improve people's skills and get more people into work, to improve the 'Business in Guernsey' brand, and to investigate ways of overcoming barriers to doing business in Guernsey, including by looking at how some costs of doing business can be reduced or removed, and by creating a 'one-stop shop' for businesses seeking information on relocating to Guernsey, starting up a business on the Island, or developing their business further. The framework also includes aims to monitor progress being made and provide information that will enable the Department to track the further development of the economy.
The framework has been published alongside a Strategic Overview document, and a Summary of Strategic Aims and Timescales, which sets out timescales for delivery of the Strategic Aims, many of which are already underway as part of existing work in progress.
Deputy Stewart said:
"The Strategic Framework for Guernsey's Economic Development not only sets out what we, as a Department and as part of a wider government, wish to achieve in order to continue fostering business in Guernsey, but also sets out how we will realise this vision, and sets timeframes for the delivery of the strategic aims. The framework approach enables us to take a holistic view of opportunities to develop Guernsey's economy, working both with other States Departments but also and just as importantly the business community, to realise these aims".
The framework was developed following public consultation and industry engagement carried out in 2012 and 2013 on the back of the independent Oxford Economics report 'Towards an Economic Development Strategy for Guernsey', which was published in early 2012.
The framework was prepared with reference to the strategic context outlined in the States Strategic Plan, which sets out the vision for high-level economic, social, and environmental policies.