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External Relations Minister attends World Economic Forum

05 April 2019

Map showing Jordan and bordering countries

​Jersey’s External Relations Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, will represent the island this weekend at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The forum brings together leaders from government, businesses and civil society, with a focus on helping the region to achieve inclusive growth, and on working together to tackle critical issues.

This year’s meeting will take place in Jordan, and will revolve around key themes that are important to the MENA region. These include harnessing digitization, prioritising sustainability, tackling economic challenges, and unlocking opportunities for collaboration between government and business representatives.

A full programme of presentations and seminars is planned, including a presentation on financial inclusion, and a discussion of humanitarian investing, which will explore alternative investment models that can support local markets and vulnerable communities. The programme also includes a focus on diversity and gender inclusion.

As well as participating in these sessions, Senator Gorst will also engage in a number of meetings with Middle Eastern Ministers and industry representatives to discuss areas of mutual co-operation between Jersey and MENA countries. Richard Corrigan, Group Director of Financial Services and Digital Economy, will accompany the Minister to the event.

Senator Gorst said: “I am pleased to have the opportunity to represent the island at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and Northern Africa. Jersey already has positive, mutually beneficial relationships with several countries within the region, and the forum will provide us with an important opportunity to strengthen and build on these links. The event will allow us to demonstrate the Government of Jersey’s commitments to enhancing the island’s reputation internationally, and to developing positive links and agreements with other countries.”

The Minister led a delegation to the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in November last year, and will meet again with representatives from these countries at the forum.

Senator Gorst added: “During our visit to the Middle East last year, we sought to strengthen economic collaboration between Bahrain and the Channel Islands, and to progress negotiations on a Double Taxation Agreement between Bahrain and Jersey. Our meetings at the forum will provide an opportunity to further our negotiations in this respect, and to reinforce to importance of our relationship with Bahrain.

“We will also meet with representatives from the United Arab Emirates to strengthen our financial and digital collaboration, and to provide an update on work to establish a Bilateral Investment Agreement.”

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