The Isle of Man's new Department of Economic Development is celebrating the end of a successful year and the continued progress on the diversification of the Island's economy.

The new Business Development Agency, created earlier this year, has brought together the various business sectors on the island and created a one stop shop for companies and individuals wishing to relocate to the Isle of Man. The Business Development Agency links together services that were previously spread across Government departments, streamlining the process for companies interested in relocating to the Isle of Man and offering joined up services to existing businesses on the Island.

Representing the financial services, manufacturing, e-Gaming, space commerce, tourism industries, as well as the shipping and aircraft registries, the Department has already celebrated success this year in supporting and encouraging inward investment to the Isle of Man.

Allan Bell MHK, Minister for the Isle of Man's Department of Economic Development, said: "Over the last few years we have come a long way in terms of diversification. For example, in the last five years 600 jobs have been created in the e-Gaming sector, the manufacturing sector has grown by nearly 50%, and more recently it was announced that the Isle of Man has been ranked as the 5th nation most likely to return to the Moon. With diverse successes such as this already in place it was important in the early days of the Department of Economic Development to establish a central development agency that can build on the Island's reputation as a highly attractive business environment."

Tim Craine, Director of Business Development, Department of Economic Development, commented: "The public and private sector on the Island already enjoy a good relationship and we are confident that the new Business Development Agency will enhance this. Our goal is to simplify the process of companies coming to the Island. The principle of a 'one-stop-shop' will avoid any enquiries being referred from department to department. Our success will be inward investors finding it easier to deal with Government and achieving their commercial aims and successes with the minimum of fuss or red tape."

What Next for the Isle of Man in 2011

Next year will see further developments for the Isle of Man, including plans for a network of international business representation and the appointment of a London-based head of UK Business Development.

The Business Development Agency is also looking to build on the success of their work with the private sector to develop product propositions, to put the Isle of Man at the forefront of those sectors it chooses to compete in, such as aerospace manufacturing and e-commerce.

Colin Kniveton, CEO, Department of Economic Development, commented: "The Isle of Man is in the fortunate position of having a number of diverse sectors on the Island. I want the Department to secure the economic future of the Isle of Man by promoting it as a world class 'International Business Centre'; which allows new and existing businesses to thrive, drive excellence in everything we do and provide opportunities for business already on the Island as well as those who wish to do business with us."

Department of Economic Development – Achievements

  • Important international verifications for the ship registry, including completion of International Maritime Organisation State Audit and being highly placed on the Paris MOU White List for Port State Control in Europe
  • The Aircraft Registry announced it had registered its 240th aircraft on its 3rd anniversary in May – and has since registered 300 aircraft
  • The e-Gaming sector continues to thrive, with 6 new e-Gaming companies granted a license to operate on the Isle of Man
  • The Department of Economic Development has been working with the private sector to raise the profile of the Isle of Man at industry events including: the Monaco Yacht Show, The Farnborough Air Show, Cambridge Airport's Business and General Aviation Day, the British Venture Capital Association annual conference, the InvestHedge forum, the Employee Benefits event and European iGaming Expo
  • The Business Development Agency worked with the private sector to develop new product propositions and solutions – read more about the Isle of Man's new employee benefits solution and Private Equity proposition in this issue (page 8, 11).
  • The TT Races in June received nightly coverage on ITV and was also syndicated around the world
  • A feature film starring David Tennant was filmed on the Isle of Man this year, as well as a major new TV crime series. 2011 will see the filming of the feature film version of hit TV show 'Skins' on the Island, as well as the release of a 3D docu-film of the TT Races.

Raising the International Profile of the Isle of Man

Representatives from the Isle of Man met with leaders of business and industry from around the world this year, building relationships with companies and individuals who would like to do business with the Isle of Man.

  • The Ship Registry visited the Monaco Yacht Show, where a number of clients confirmed their interest in registering their yachts on the Island (see p11)
  • Space entrepreneurs from around the world visited the Isle of Man in October for the Google Lunar X Prize team summit (see p9)
  • The Isle of Man signed its tax information exchange agreement (TIEA) with China, the 17th the Island has signed (see p8)
  • The Isle of Man became an approved jurisdiction for companies wishing to list on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong
  • The Isle of Man remained the number one jurisdiction of choice for non UK companies wishing to list of the AIM market
  • The Isle of Man shared a platform with key Indian Government and business leaders from India at the Confederation of Indian Industry conference in London in June. In December representatives from the Department of Economic Development visited India to address the International Tax Conference in Mumbai
  • The Island hosted the second annual meeting of the Small Countries Financial Management Programme, helping small countries to learn from each other and respond to the challenges of financial management.

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