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‘Bold short-term fixes’ needed to get Guernsey back on track

Business | Published:

A SET of ‘bold short-term fixes’ are needed to get Guernsey back on track, according to a senior business leader.

GIFA chairman Paul Smith addressing the annual dinner. (Picture by Chris George)

Paul Smith, chairman of the Guernsey Investment Fund Association, used his speech at the association’s recent annual dinner to call for action to support the economy.

‘We hear comments from the States about long-term strategic plans but we need some bold short-term fixes to get Guernsey back on track and ensure that we still have a strong enough economy to enable us to develop and implement those long-term plans,’ he said.

Mr Smith also called for action over transport links, saying: ‘Air links continue to be a cause for concern and we must have a clear strategic direction from the States on the operation and financing of Aurigny and the allocation of air routes to other airlines.’

Part of the island’s budget surplus should ‘be put to good short-term use, preferably in boosting our air links’, he suggested.

During his address, the Gifa chairman also said there were opportunities for the island to promote itself as a physically and cyber secure location for business.

‘In the current environment of global terrorism and data theft, Guernsey provides a safe location in which to live, bring up families and do business and also to establish cyber secure data centres and other businesses due to our ability to ring fence the island from external cyber threats.

‘With the increasing use of technology within the fund industry, we must position Guernsey as a suitable centre for data management and security.’

He also welcomed the recently announced Guernsey Investment Fund, saying it would open the door to similar projects to stimulate the economy. However, Mr Smith added: ‘It is all well and good putting money aside for a rainy day, but I would suggest that it has been raining steadily for some time and we need some capital infrastructure investment now.’

Last month, Economic Development president Charles Parkinson said that ‘bold’ action is needed – and that a road map and new economic vision will be produced within months.

Will Green

By Will Green
Business Editor

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