Guernsey set for Far East trade missions
TRADE DELEGATIONS will visit Hong Kong and China throughout 2018 as Guernsey eyes a growing chunk of financial services business from the Far East.
Kate Clouston, deputy chief executive at promotional agency Guernsey Finance, will lead industry delegations in April, September and November.
The trade missions come as Guernsey Finance looks to build on more than a decade of activity in the Chinese markets. This includes the opening of a Hong Kong office in 2016 – linking up with the island’s financial sector regulator, the Guernsey Financial Services Commission.
‘My main aims will be to increase our contact with trust and private client intermediaries, to build stronger relationships with fund managers and to build on the progress we have made with our insurance offering to date in the region,’ said Miss Clouston.
She also said that the GFSC had received more than 100 technical enquiries across all sectors over the past 15 months and that the regulator’s presence had been helpful in supporting Guernsey Finance’s work.
‘Our work in China is well established and we continue to look for opportunities coming directly from the Chinese mainland, while recognising that Hong Kong is considered a gateway to China and that a significant amount of China-related business comes through there.’
Miss Clouston also said that Guernsey Finance’s appointment of a permanent representative in Hong Kong would help. Dorothy Kwok has eight years of experience in the trust and corporate services sector, which has brought her into contact with Channel Islands structures as well as spending time working in Jersey.
‘There is opportunity for everyone in Asia and we are looking at all sectors – and Dorothy’s trust background and fiduciary network will be especially helpful,’ added the deputy chief executive of Guernsey Finance.
Jacob Cherry, the GFSC’s senior regulatory advisor in Hong Kong, said there was developing interest from various sectors in the ‘quality tailored financial solutions’ for which Guernsey was known.
‘Asian corporates are beginning to appreciate Guernsey’s providence as a specialist centre of excellence that is joined-up and nimble enough that cross-sectoral collaboration within the finance industry is common,’ he said.
‘Guernsey’s bespoke offering of services contrasts with the commoditised products that Asian clients are more accustomed to, which reinforces the necessity for Guernsey stakeholders to continue to proactively build trust in these markets.’