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The Isle of Man's economy started out with Celtic settlers. These simple people made small farms with basic livestock and fished in nearby streams and rivers. As time moved on farming skills improved and soon the harbours could be seen filled with small fishing boats. The fishing trade expanded into exports of herring and even took in a little smuggling. Agriculture grew into a business, seeing cows and sheep massively out numbering the people.
Times changed and the island saw an end to smuggling. Fishing too lost some of its boom. The Isle of Man had to change its direction. Move into new lines to push the economy forward. Tourism was the next big thing and it proved very good for the island. Railways were made, towns grew to support the ever increasing numbers of tourists and shipping became a new driving force for the island.
Modern times saw cars taking tourists to the continent and cheap flights to far away foreign destinations. The Isle of Man began to lose some of its shine as a beach holiday location. To keep the economy from ruin, changed had to be made. Changes to tax rates and laws for businesses pushed the Isle of Man into a new economy. One of international proportions, which developed into a finance centre.
Today the island finds its economy mainly based around financial services. Agriculture and fishing still prove a valued asset, as do other smaller industries. The Isle of Man strives to look ahead and plan its future to include the best of modern technology.
In 2001, the Isle of Man reached a higher GDP per capita then the United Kingdom. This was a great boost to the island's image. Years of reduced taxation, low unemployment (less then 1%), and high cash reserves had paid off. The island was making its way into the books of successful economies. Added to its success were e-commerce ventures. One of which secured many world leaders in online gaming. The island also saw itself competing in the race for 3G (third generation telephones) against world leaders like Japan. It now has the second 3G network in the world. The Isle of Man economy has evolved from its humble beginnings and has yet to reach its full potential.
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