The Economic Development Strategy aims to outline a clear strategy to enable Guernsey to optimise its potential for economic growth and make the best use of available resources.
The Commerce and Employment Department and Policy Council, taking into account feedback received from the business and wider community through a public consultation process, produced a Strategic Framework for Guernsey's Economic Development, which was published in February 2014.
The framework sets out four objectives to enable the Commerce and Employment Department and its successor, the Committee for Economic Development, to exercise their mandate to advise the States on matters relating to the creation of a dynamic and diversified economy. These are:
(1) to develop the Island's existing economic sectors;
(2) to support emerging economic sectors;
(3) to make Guernsey work for businesses and help businesses get the best from Guernsey; and
(4) to track the development of the Island's economy.
The overriding aim of the framework is for the Committee for Economic Development 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 recognised 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 to do business. Above all, Guernsey's economy should:
· Be open for and conducive to 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 include 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 under way as part of existing work in progress.
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.