Isle of Man Department of Economic Development: A place where you can
For businesses looking to expand or relocate, the Isle of Man presents many advantages, offering reassurance in difficult economic times. Chris Corlett, CEO at the Isle of Man Department of Economic Development, explains what makes the island an ideal place to invest.
Could you provide a brief overview of the Isle of Man's economy and the main sectors in the region?
Chris Corlett: The Isle of Man is an increasingly diverse international business centre offering a wide range of products and services to customers around the world. The island is still best known for financial services, which account for a third of its national income. This industry comprises sectors as diverse as banking, fund management, captive and life insurance, and corporate and trust services. Manufacturing accounts for over 8% of the economy. The island is home to numerous innovative high-tech manufacturers, whose projects include the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner 'superjumbo' aircraft, as well as NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander.
The Isle of Man Ship Registry has been recognised for several years as one of the world's top ten ship registers, and has given rise to a vibrant cluster of businesses employing over 600 people locally. This success encouraged the establishment of the Isle of Man Aircraft Registry for private and corporate jets. Already, more than 500 aircraft have been registered, enabling the island to become a one-stop shop for worldwide aviation management. In 2012, it was voted the best in the world.
The Isle of Man is now recognised as one of the most dynamic and reputable jurisdictions in e-gaming. The ongoing success of existing companies in the sector has also helped to encourage a growing number of resident e-gaming businesses and software development companies. The island is also a leading jurisdiction for the location of space exploration companies and is home to the International Space University's Institute of Space Commerce as well as several satellite-management companies.
What makes the Isle of Man an ideal place to invest/establish a company/subsidiary?
The Isle of Man inspires a unique 'can do' approach based on close cooperation between public and private sectors. Its economic success owes much to the excellent relationships between the government and the business community, and it offers many advantages for businesses.
Companies relocating to the island will find a stable political system and strong economic development ethos, a highly skilled workforce, a simple tax regime and a world class telecoms and power infrastructure.
What are the long-term benefits for companies coming to the Isle of Man?
The Isle of Man provides an appealing location to live and work, and from which to conduct global business. It has proven capabilities in key areas indispensable to business growth, particularly global financial and professional services. Its laws and policies deliver the highest international standards in tax transparency and cooperation, while maintaining a competitive investment environment within which most businesses are subject to no corporate income tax. There is also excellent infrastructure for IT, telecommunications, power and water. Independent surveys have shown the Isle of Man to offer an exceptionally high quality of life, with good public services and one of the lowest recorded crime rates in Europe. It has achieved unbroken economic growth for 30 years, averaging 6% annually in real terms. In 2012, the economy grew by an estimated 3% and is forecast to rise by 4% in 2013.
How do you differentiate the Isle of Man from other locations in the UK?
First of all, we are not part of the UK! As a country in our own right, we position ourselves as an international business centre that hosts a range of business sectors. Our independence means we are able to legislate and regulate to support key sectors, providing the flexibility, speed and innovation required to help them grow.
What sort of value-added services do you offer companies setting up operations?
The public and private sectors in the Isle of Man are experienced in helping new investors set up operations and grow rapidly, form companies and access the necessary support services, which extends to helping key workers and their families find housing and schools. This frees up time for a new business to focus on growth. For companies relocating to the Isle of Man or developing startups, or even existing businesses investing to expand, the Department of Economic Development provides generous and flexible support through its financial assistance scheme, as well as the services of a dedicated business development manager.