Guernsey: Guernsey’s Activity In Asia Is Praised By Chinese Ambassador
Last Updated: 29 November 2012

The Chinese Ambassador to the UK has given his support to Guernsey's continuing activity in the Chinese marketplace.

His Excellency Liu Xiaoming, who met with a Guernsey delegation led by the Chief Minister, Peter Harwood, in London last month, said the progress Guernsey was making in China was encouraging. The positive endorsement comes just days after a Guernsey delegation completed a two week trip to Asia that included attending a major international fiduciary conference in Hong Kong, before visiting both Shanghai and Beijing for a series of meetings.

Fiona Le Poidevin, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance - the international promotional agency for the Island's finance industry - was part of both the two week trip to Asia and the Guernsey delegation that met with Mr Liu.

Miss Le Poidevin said: "The meeting with the Chinese Ambassador was extremely useful, particularly as it came immediately after we had been to Asia to reinforce existing relationships in Hong Kong and China, but also to meet with new contacts, especially in the banking sector. Mr Liu was very interested in hearing who we had met and how the trip had gone generally.

"He was also interested in learning about Guernsey and the nature of our relationship with the UK as a Crown Dependency. He was fully supportive of our initiatives in China and was keen to hear about our previous activity in the country since opening our representative office in Shanghai at the end of 2007. We extended an invitation to Mr Liu to visit the Island and we hope to be able to finalise arrangements in the near future."

Before meeting with Mr Liu, Miss Le Poidevin had led Guernsey delegations to both Hong Kong and China. In Hong Kong, the delegation attended the STEP Asia conference and held a series of meetings with organisations including the Hong Kong Venture Capital Association and the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission.

The team, which also included Miss Le Poidevin's predecessor, Peter Niven, who remains a consultant at Guernsey Finance until the end of the year, and Jarrod Cowley-Grimmond, Director of Finance Sector Development for the States of Guernsey, then moved on to China, where they were also joined by John Robinson, Chairman of the Association of Guernsey Banks (AGB) and Managing Director of Butterfield Bank in Guernsey.

Miss Le Poidevin said: "Our trip to China was once again very productive. As well as reinforcing our relationship with organisations such as the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) and the Shanghai Municipal Financial Service Office amongst others, we also met with several of China's major banking institutions which have leading private banking operations. This gave us the opportunity to inform them about Guernsey's own private banking and wealth management expertise, as well as showcase our new foundations legislation, which is an extremely useful structure for Asian clients.

"They were also particularly interested in our captive insurance sector. There are currently only two captives in China, as it's still a relatively new concept to them, but one they are eager to learn more about. Guernsey, as the leading captive insurance domicile in Europe and fourth largest globally, is perfectly placed to assist with this, especially as companies in China begin to expand their operations and become more international, which in turn increases their focus on risk."

Since establishing the Island's representative office in Shanghai at the end of 2007, Guernsey has worked in cooperation with the Chinese authorities in a number of areas. The Guernsey Government signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) with the Chinese central government tax authorities in October 2010, as well as a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Shanghai Municipal Financial Services Office in November of the same year, while the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) signed a Statement of Cooperation with the CBRC in November 2011.

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