The Chief Minister Alfred Cannan MHK has said that the Government must continue its programme of off-Island engagement to help drive economic growth and prosperity.
The Chief Minister’s remarks come ahead of a series of visits scheduled over the next few months which aim to strengthen relationships and raise the Island’s profile.
The Chief Minister said:
'Growing our economy is vital to funding high quality public services and maintaining our cherished quality of life. That is why securing a strong and diverse economy is one of the key pillars of our Island Plan.
'To deliver on this ambition we must engage, build relationships and market ourselves in the UK, Europe and further afield, ensuring we seize opportunities and play to our strengths. The rewards include attracting new workers, increased exports and growing inward investment. This won’t happen on its own, nor will it happen overnight. It will take a sustained long-term effort that we must commit to if we are to succeed.'
The Chief Minister will attend the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool next week and the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham in October.
Maintaining good links with neighbours is critical and the Government works with fellow Crown dependencies, devolved administrations and the UK and Irish governments in areas such as trade policy, anti-money laundering and the environment.
Later in October the Chief Minister will visit Brussels and in November he will take part in the 38th summit of the British-Irish Council.
Further afield, there will be a visit to Bahrain in October at the invitation of the Crown Prince to explore opportunities for collaboration including in financial services. In November there will be a visit to South Africa at the request of local businesses following a successful trip there in March of this year.
The Island will also host a number of visits from different countries wishing to establish closer links with the Island and explore commercial opportunities. These have already included a visit from Barbados and plans for visits by representatives of the Philippines and the Cayman Islands are underway.
The Chief Minister said:
'I recognise the current cost of living crisis is affecting everyone across the Island, but if we are serious about securing our future then we must roll our sleeves up and set about strengthening existing relationships and forging new ones.
'We want to create an environment where Isle of Man companies can flourish and grow, and Government has a significant role to play in this.'