Minister for Economic Development John Shimmin MHK has spoken of his optimism for 2013:
'The start of the working year is a good time to reflect on our economic performance in 2012 and look forward to our likely performance in 2013. I would like to convey 3 key messages at this time. Firstly, the Isle of Man performed well in 2012 in what was a tough global economy – our estimated growth for the year was 3% in real terms compared with the average of 1.4% across the OECD (comprising the world’s major developed economies).'
'Secondly, I and my colleague Mr Teare in Treasury are confident we can do even better in 2013. We are forecasting growth of 4% in real terms compared to the OECD average of 1.4% in 2013.'
'Thirdly, my Department is playing a key role in driving this growth, working closely with colleagues in Government and the private sector. The foundation for sustainable growth is development of our key export-generating sectors, such as financial services, manufacturing, ICT, e-gaming, tourism, aviation and ship management.'
'My Department continues to both aid existing local businesses to expand as well as attract new businesses in these key sectors. We estimate we helped to create 130 jobs in these sectors in 2012, which then stimulated growth in the wider economy. We are forecasting this figure will increase to 180 jobs in 2013, building our confidence that our overall growth projections are credible in what will continue to be a tough global market.'
'In summary, I believe we can take much comfort that our Island continues to enjoy a strong, growing economy which is vital if we are also to achieve Government’s other priorities of balancing Government’s budget while protecting the most vulnerable in our community.'
The Department will be focussing on 3 key areas in 2013 with an extensive range of activity planned to take place, building on the successes of 2012.
- Maintaining growth in Financial Services
- Supporting the wider economy
- Helping the unemployed into work
To read Minister Shimmin's full speech, in which he outlines these three priorities in greater detail, please download this PDF document.