The States is finalising an agreement that will give Guernsey Finance more cash to help bring new business to the island - with the agency's CEO saying it "would be crazy not to bolster the financial services industry" after its performance during the pandemic.
Earlier this States term, senior politicians on Policy & Resources and Economic Development revealed that a deal was being drawn up, with ED President Neil Inder saying Guernsey needs to be prepared "to market our way out of some predicaments" after Brexit and the damaging economic impact of covid-19.
In a sit-down interview, Guernsey Finance CEO Rupert Pleasant said the island is reaping the benefits of the Bailiwick's management of the pandemic.
There is firm interest from across Asia - including Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia - and from businesses in South Africa, where a dedicated representative has recently been employed to drive growth in sub-Saharan Africa.
Mr Pleasant said the Bailiwick has a great message to send out to the world as a place to do business. He said having more resources will help it to reach the right people in the right places to get deals over the line.
"We have had some hugely constructive meetings with both P&R and Economic Development," said Mr Pleasant. "We have found the new committee members to be exceedingly receptive to our funding and what we are looking to do."
Pictured: Grant McLeod was appointed as a specialist in financial services in South Africa, where he has been tasked with promoting the Bailiwick in sub-Saharan Africa.
"We’re finalising some paperwork and we are hoping in the next month or two that we will be able to draw down on some additional funding."
Mr Pleasant said that funding expectations have to be tempered by the island's economic position - but that the amount on the table will help the agency to deliver increasing returns.
"I can’t tell you how much that will be at the moment, because that is still being negotiated," said Mr Pleasant of the exact amount. "But I have to say talks have been very constructive and we have found them very receptive."
He added: "It’s absolutely an amount that we are happy with. We have to fully appreciate that the island is going through some economic hardship at the moment, so you can ask for something and you know you won’t get it.
"However if you look at what the financial services industry in Guernsey has actually done, we haven’t taken a penny from the public purse during the first lockdown or the second lockdown, we’ve really been the backbone to the economy and we’ve made sure we stay buoyant.
"So it would be crazy not to bolster the financial services industry because when you look at the bigger revive and thrive picture, this is what is going to make the island a bigger success going forward."
Pictured: Deputy Lyndon Trott is the Chairman of Guernsey Finance and Deputy Steve Falla is also a Board Member.
Speaking at an IoD conference at the end of last year, Deputy Peter Ferbrache said that Government was working with the agency to help it bring more business to the island.
"Guernsey Finance has done a brilliant job but it has been outgunned, it has one battleship and our competitors have 10 battleships, so it needs more battleships. It needs more money and I am sure it will spend it wisely.
"We are going to do our very best to give them those weapons to even improve the very good job they already do."
Pictured top: Guernsey Finance Chief Executive Rupert Pleasant (Credit: Paul Mariess).
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