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Good Prospects for Satellite Business 8 April 2004

Treasury Minister Allan Bell MHK has returned from a trip to the USA with reinforced confidence in the potential of space and satellite business as a new growth sector for the Isle of Man.

Mr Bell’s visit to New York and Houston, accompanied by Chief Financial Officer Mark Shimmin, followed up on the 2004/05 Manx Budget announcement of a zero income tax rate for activity related to the space and satellite industry.

The four-day trip was supported by Chris Stott, the Houston-based Manxman who is the Island’s Honorary Representative to the Space Community, and included a tour of the NASA space centre.

In addition to a series of meetings with space and satellite interests, the opportunity was taken to develop high-level political contacts and communicate the Isle of Man’s position as an internationally responsible and soundly regulated jurisdiction. The Island’s co-operation in law enforcement, for example, was explained during a meeting with the New York District Attorney.

Said Mr Bell:

"During my Budget speech in February this year I described space and satellite technology as a small but exceedingly promising area for the Island. Visiting the USA and actually meeting people involved in the industry has certainly confirmed this optimistic view of the sector’s potential.

"Overall it was a very useful exercise and we were able to make some key contacts in the industry, with the invaluable assistance of Chris Stott. It was also good to continue the work of developing a positive understanding of the Isle of Man at a high level in the USA, building on the 2002 tax information exchange agreement and the more recent IMF endorsement of the Island."

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