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Island's Economic Strategy 8 October 2004

After a period of further consultation, evaluation and refinement, Treasury's revised Economic Strategy returns to Tynwald this month for approval. A consultation document on the Strategy was previously received by Tynwald in October last year.

Key to the approach is improving the efficiency and productivity of the economy by, for example, accessing new markets, producing higher value goods and services, and making the most of the local labour force through education and training.

The Strategy takes account of the economic realities of the Island's position, including its small size, dependence on export success and scarcity of natural resources. It provides the framework for a way forward that sustains economic growth and raises living standards whilst containing the need for additional labour from off-Island in the numbers that have characterised previous periods of expansion.

Welcoming the Strategy, Treasury Minister Allan Bell MHK was hopeful that it would get Tynwald's approval.

He said:

"For the first time we have a document that can be presented as a statement of how Government wishes the economy to develop and how it plans to try and ensure such development occurs.

"The Strategy acknowledges that our national income per head, though massively improved over the last decade, can be raised still further, and addresses how this might be achieved.

"It is a strategy that reflects a certain confidence in the future of the Island but which also underlines that we all have to keep working at improving upon those things which provide a competitive edge.

"And as with much of what has gone before, it is a strategy that will work best when Government and the private sector can unite behind its principles and the policies to be implemented.

"The living standards and employment opportunities of the people of the Isle of Man depend upon the continued expansion and success of our economy. The Strategy represents a focussed approach to developing the economy in a way that maximises the positives of growth and minimises the negatives."

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