Friday 18 May 2018
The Committee for Economic Development has today [FRIDAY 18 MAY 2018] published an Economic Development Strategy for the States of Guernsey, which seeks to maintain the Island's prosperity both now and in the decade ahead.
The States of Deliberation will be asked to approve the strategy at its June meeting.
The strategy sets out a vision for the Island's economy and outlines the steps which will need to be taken by the States of Guernsey, in partnership with businesses and the community, to achieve that vision. In addition, the strategy also outlines where action needs to be taken now, to address those issues and opportunities faced today by the Island's economy.
The President of the Committee for Economic Development, Deputy Charles Parkinson, said:
"The continued prosperity of the Island depends upon the strength of our economy. It is therefore essential that the States, acting in a joined-up manner and working closely with business, ensures that the Island's economy is well-placed to address the challenges and opportunities it faces both today and in the years to come. This is at the heart of the strategy which the Committee is putting to the States".
In 2016 and 2017, the States agreed its objectives for Guernsey's future, including for the Island's economic development, as set out in the Policy & Resource Plan. The strategy put forward today by the Committee seeks to enable the States to achieve these objectives by focusing on Guernsey's competitive values of stability, quality and innovation. Doing so will allow us to build on what we do well now, diversify and grow the economy, and ensure that the world knows that Guernsey is open for business.
The strategy also recognises the benefits of more actively monitoring and reporting on our economy, to assist with policy development.
Deputy Parkinson added:
"Guernsey needs its economy to be high value in order to provide sustainable prosperity, and resilient enough to adapt to the changes and challenges of the future. The strategy put forward by the Committee therefore seeks to ensure both the continued success of existing economic activities - with particular focus on the financial services sector as the central pillar of the Island's economy - and to encourage diversification of the economy into a number of other high-value economic activities.
"The strategy put forward by the Committee recognises that Guernsey is well-placed to enable a diverse range of economic activity to flourish in Guernsey including higher education, medical technology, renewable energy, data storage and processing, digital content, and speciality tourism. The strategy also seeks to ensure that the Island is able to capitalise on the economic development potential of the Seafront Enhancement Area.
"Our vision of the economy for 2030 is of Guernsey as a centre of digital innovation across the whole economy; a leader in the way that people, goods and services move; supporting the global shift to clean growth; an economy that continues to be built on substance; and an economy that exports products and services to a greater degree than it does today."
The Committee's Vice President, Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen, commented:
"To achieve the vision for the economy set out in the strategy, it is essential to ensure that the necessary economic enablers are in place. The strategy therefore places significant emphasis on ensuring that businesses have access to an appropriately skilled workforce and that the physical and digital infrastructure needs of businesses can be met."
The strategy also focuses on the need to strengthen air and sea links. Committee Member, Deputy Joe Mooney, said:
"Air and sea connectivity is absolutely vital for Guernsey's current and future competitiveness. As set out in the strategy, the Committee is already undertaking a significant amount of work to ensure that Guernsey has the air and sea links it needs, and to support Alderney in its work on transport connectivity. Working to strengthen these links will continue to be one of the Committee's highest priorities."
Deputy Mooney added:
"The Committee's strategy also sets out its commitment to supporting the Open Market as an economic enabler for the Island, including by looking at how to cut red tape associated with the use of Open Market housing.
"In addition to seeking to embrace new business, the strategy also sets out the need to continue to support existing sectors of the economy, for instance, the e-gaming sector, which makes a valued contribution to both the Guernsey and Alderney economies".
Committee Member, Deputy David De Lisle, said:
"Amongst the areas of diversification which the Committee intends to pursue is the development of existing and emerging economic activities relating to the marine environment, or, 'blue economy'.
"As an island with a rich maritime heritage and marine resource, Guernsey is especially well-placed to do this through the maintenance and growth of existing maritime industries such as fisheries and tourism, and the potential development of new industries and associated infrastructure, such as offshore renewable energy, aquaculture, and marine biotechnology."
Committee Member, Deputy Dawn Tindall, said:
"The Committee has quite purposefully presented the document as the 'States of Guernsey's Economic Development Strategy', because we recognise that achieving the aspirations in the document will require close working and cooperation from across States Committees. I'm pleased to say that this is already happening, with the Committee working, for example, with the Development & Planning Authority on various matters relating to land, with the Policy & Resources Committee and the Committee for Home Affairs on population management through the strategic review, with the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture on skills, and with the Committee for Health & Social Care in respect of medtech. We very much encourage States Members to endorse and take a share in the ownership of this strategy."