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Minister attends Commonwealth summit

09 December 2022

​The Minister for External Relations, Deputy Philip Ozouf, represented Jersey at the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC) in London on Monday 5th and Tuesday 6th December. CWEIC aims to bring together representatives from across the Commonwealth and promote trade and investment between members.

The Minister was invited to participate in the Commonwealth Trade & Investment Summit (CTIS) panel, which discussed the important role of finance centres in the transition to net zero; the impact of climate change on small Island states; and how governments and industry must work together to find a balanced solution to these challenges. 

Speaking during the session, the Minister drew attention to the Government of Jersey’s focus on raising skills and improving productivity; the joined-up approach of government, regulator, and industry as key factors in supporting local businesses; and the recent decision of the States Assembly to approve a Green Finance Strategy, as part of the Financial Services industry framework. 

“The importance of digital infrastructure was raised by numerous speakers, and raising digital skills at all levels in SMEs is critical to the success of the economies of the future. The work of Digital Jersey’s Digital Academy was highlighted as a tangible example of Jersey’s commitment to raising digital skills.

“The governments of Kenya and Nigeria have also referenced the need for better data, infrastructure, and technology to support lending and improve how SMEs across the Commonwealth can access finance, particularly in the current economic climate.

“Plenary sessions highlighted the increasing importance of public and private partnerships as sources of capital to fund infrastructure and other private sector projects. Jersey is committed to supporting long-term and stable economic growth across the globe. Increased trade-in-services is mutually beneficial, providing better jobs and opportunities in Jersey, as well as our partner jurisdictions.” 

During the two days, the Minister held bilateral meetings with government partners from around the Commonwealth, including the Rwandan Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Jean Chrysostome Ngabitsinze; Clare Akamanzi, CEO of the Rwanda Development Board; Musaila Mudavadi, the Prime Cabinet Secretary of Kenya, and the High Commissioners of Kenya, Canada, Uganda, Malta, and Botswana. Discussions also took place with a range of commercial representatives in partnership with Jersey Finance. 

Following the conclusion of the summit, the Minister said: 

“The Commonwealth is a unique forum for international collaboration. Jersey has established relationships with many Commonwealth nations and territories. Most recently, Jersey’s relationship with Rwanda, for example, is a prime example of how this can work effectively. 

“We are fully behind the Commonwealth and the advantages it brings. The fifty-six countries of the Commonwealth comprise one-third of the world’s population, represents 40% of the global workforce and half of the top 20 global emerging cities. 

“We are representing Jersey at CWEIC to reinforce our existing relations with Commonwealth countries, protecting the jobs of today but also securing the jobs of the future. As Jersey becomes more and more globalised, and our trade-in-services business expands, the Commonwealth advantage will be of ever-increasing value.

“We look forward to further developing our relations with our Commonwealth partners in the future.” 

Picture shows the Kenyan Prime Cabinet Secreary, the Minister for External Relations, Deputy Philip Ozouf and the Kenyan High Commissioner.

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