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Isle of Man "A Core Asset" for the City 22 November 2007

THE Isle of Man’s positive contribution to the City of London has been praised by the head of the City, Lord Mayor Alderman David Lewis.

Speaking during a two-day visit to the Island, the Lord Mayor said:

‘Assets worth billions of pounds held by Isle of Man companies are invested in and through the City. The way we see it is that the Isle of Man is a core asset for the City.’

Alderman Lewis, an eminent City lawyer, paid tribute to the Island’s high standards of financial regulation and its policy of international co-operation, as well as its success as a financial services centre.

Referring to the Isle of Man’s ‘powerful distinctive brand within the global financial scene’, he added:

‘From the City’s point of view, your brand was immensely strengthened when you committed to work with the OECD on improving transparency and tax information, and then backed it up with a host of Tax Information Exchange Agreements.’

The Lord Mayor, who is a global ambassador for the City and the United Kingdom financial services sector, was guest speaker at the inaugural ‘Chief Minister’s International Lecture’ at the Mount Murray Hotel on Wednesday November 21, 2007.

He said the City was of ‘crucial importance’ to the UK economy as a whole. The UK financial services sector now accounts for 13 per cent of the country’s GDP, contributing over £25 billion to its trade surplus and 25 per cent of the Treasury’s corporate tax take. The sector employs some 1.3 million people.

As an example of the inter-connectedness between the Isle of Man and the City, the Lord Mayor cited the Island’s role as the leading offshore jurisdiction for non-UK companies joining the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM).

‘We recognise how capable you are in helping companies list on AIM and thereby gain rapid, quality access to the City’s capital investment markets’, he stated.

He described the Isle of Man and the City as ‘boosting each other’s competitive edge in a way which is unmatched by other financial centres given our mutual history, geographical proximity and business culture.’

The Lord Mayor observed that the Island’s ‘Freedom to Flourish’ ethos gave it a clear direction. He said the ‘real shared strength’ between the Isle of Man and the City was in ‘our common understanding of and approach to business’.

Chief Minister Tony Brown MHK said the Lord Mayor’s visit to the Island reflected an ever increasing awareness of the ‘positive and mutually beneficial’ relationship between the Isle of Man and the City.

‘The Isle of Man could be described as a satellite of the City, capturing international business and feeding it into the Square Mile’, commented Mr Brown.

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