Thursday, January 12, 2012
Jersey Finance, the promotional agency for the island's financial services industry, has undertaken further promotional activity in India this month following the signing of a Tax Information Exchange Agreement with the territory in November to strengthen business ties.
No fewer than 10 Jersey firms joined Jersey Finance representatives at the recent International Taxation Conference at the ITC Maratha Hotel in Mumbai where Jersey Finance was a 'gold sponsor'. As part of its sponsorship, Jersey Finance had a speaker session within the conference schedule and Richard Teather, a senior lecturer at Bournemouth University in the UK and an offshore academic, spoke on the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in Jersey and how such a model might be adopted by India also. He was joined by Patrick Crowley, Head of ABN AMRO Bank in Jersey, whose presentation was on wealth management opportunities for Indians, and Sean Costello, Jersey Finance’s regional head of Business Development for India, who highlighted Jersey’s role as a tax neutral centre for structuring investments.
Alongside participation in the conference, Jersey Finance sponsored a networking dinner and had the opportunity to man an exhibition stand throughout the three-day event where according to Sean Costello there was "overwhelming interest" in the products and services Jersey can provide with particular interest in structuring investments and wealth management.
The annual event, one of the premier taxation conferences in the world, is organized by the Foundation for International Taxation, a registered educational charitable trust in India established to promote the knowledge and understanding of international taxation. This year nearly 500 international delegates attended, a record for the event, now in its 17th year.
Geoff Cook, chief executive, Jersey Finance Limited, said: “We are making significant strides in developing the profile of Jersey in the key cities of Mumbai and New Delhi where Jersey Finance now has a permanent representative team and these two events were the culmination of an increasing marketing drive during 2011.”
While there are no specific Jersey figures available, there is evidence that Jersey's promotional activities in the country are paying off. The Reserve Bank of India estimates that inbound direct investment from the Channel Islands was USD516m in 2010, more than ten times the figure a year earlier.
According to Jersey Finance, many Indian real estate, infrastructure and private equity funds have been established using feeder structures which are managed and administered in Jersey, while Indian residents are using Jersey companies to assist them in investing overseas, particularly into real estate. Jersey legal and finance professionals are also engaged in the formation of offshore funds and transactions dedicated to investment in India, mainly focused on acquisitions, financings and listings.