A strong, sustainable and diversified economy is vital to maintain and enhance the quality of life in Guernsey and to fulfil the economic, social and environmental ambitions of the Future Guernsey Plan.
One of the four core themes of the 20-year vision of the Future Guernsey Plan is a strong, sustainable and growing economy. Alongside sustainable public finances and strict fiscal rules managed through the Medium Term Financial Plan, the Economic Development Policy priority plays a vital part in contributing to this theme. This priority area achieves this through the four main themes of 'Maintain', 'Diversify & Grow', 'Open for Business' and 'Monitoring the Economy'.
Under these themes are a series of initiatives, including, but not limited to: supporting a diverse finance sector to ensure that Guernsey remains a leading international finance centre; supporting the effective operation of the local economy, outside of the finance sector; and supporting the development of skills, talent and entrepreneurialism within firms and the workforce.
Economic Development Strategy
- In June 2018, the States Assembly approved the Economic Development Strategy outlining 20 action priorities to promote growth, and directed the Committee for Economic Development to return with a further report containing a framework and implementation plan that sets out the prioritisation of these priorities, and the likely time frames for all the key work streams.
- The Committee submitted this framework back to the States in November 2018, and it was duly approved by States Members. It categorised the 20 actions into three different prioritisation categories: critical, important, and beneficial.
- Critical actions: These actions are those which the Committee believes will most successfully grow the economy if delivered effectively. They are:
- Strengthening air and sea links: This is an ongoing critical action led by the Committee, and includes a review of air transport licensing and the tendering of public service obligations for air links, and working with Condor while preparing possible contingency measures as the ferry company gets sold for sea links. For more information on air and sea links, please click here.
- Implementing the telecommunications strategy: This is a new action to be delivered by the Committee. The business case for investment in implementing the telecoms strategy is currently being developed with the Policy & Resources Committee, and will be presented to the States during Q2 2019. For more information on the telecommunications strategy, please click here.
- Support the finance sector with a plan that supports growth and diversification: This action identifies five areas of development, such as green and sustainable finance, with their own respective working groups who are currently outlining their scopes and objectives to deliver this action.
- Continue to develop and implement the digital framework: The Committee published the digital framework in April 2017 and provided an update on progress in April 2018. A further update will be given in Q2 2019.
- Support the development of a long-term Skills Guernsey development plan: A 'Skills Action Plan' was published in October 2018, and the Committee are actively working with the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture and other partners in Skills Guernsey to deliver this progress. An update on progress will be provided in Q3 2019. For more information on the plan, please click here.
- Seafront enhancement area: Developing the seafront has the potential support multiple economic sectors, and work on this action is ongoing as part of the overall approach being coordinated by the Policy & Resources Committee. For more information on the seafront enhancement area, please click here.
- Important and beneficial actions: Important and beneficial actions comprise the second and third tier of action priorities below critical, respectively. These are actions that have the ability to support the growth of the economy, but not to the extent as critical actions above it.
- Important actions: Examples of important actions set out in the strategy include: developing a plan for investing in Guernsey's tourism product; attracting high net worth individuals through the Open Market; and developing plans for an international university presence in Guernsey, among others.
- Beneficial actions: Examples of beneficial actions set out in the strategy include: establishing a pipeline of construction opportunities; updating the retail strategy; and identifying and removing red tape to boost competitiveness and reduce the cost of doing business in Guernsey.