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Geoff Cook defends role of Crown Dependencies at Tory party conference

Geoff Cook said there is still a lack of awareness of the benefits to the UK of Crown Dependencies.

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Speaking at a fringe event hosted by the Adam Smith Institute in Birmingham on Sunday to a crowd of over 100, including MPs and MEPs, Cook said Jersey can help the UK secure overseas investment and help it benefit from growth in developing economies such as China, India and the Middle East.

“There is still often a fundamental lack of understanding of the benefits the Crown Dependencies bring to the UK, in terms of facilitating the flow of capital and encouraging overseas investment,” said Cook.

“In recent years, for example, there has been considerable growth in the number of businesses choosing a Jersey company as a holding company, through which the UK gains business from emerging markets such as China, India and the Middle East.”

Cook also discussed the importance of tax competition and, in a thinly veiled defence of its zero-10 tax regime, said Jersey competes for business on “exactly the same basis as 70 other countries which offer some kind of benign tax neutral regime.”

“There has been much debate in the UK recently about how the country can build a more competitive economy, with the Government recently announcing its ambition to have the ‘most competitive corporate tax system in the G20,’ he said.

“Tax competition is good for all economies.  It leaves more capital in the productive side of the economy, which generates greater economic activity and wealth, which in turn is available for reinvestment.”

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