President's Speech January 2017 Lunch

Wednesday 11 January 14:00

Good afternoon all! We are delighted to have with us again my counterpart from Guernsey, the Guernsey Chamber of Commerce President Martyn Dorey and Barry Cash who ably keeps the Guernsey team in check!

You will hopefully have noticed the launch of the new pan island Chamber of Commerce Contact Magazine. In the foreword, I was interested to read that Martyn recalled the conversation with both myself and the Chief Minister during the last lunch he attended, and the conversations in which we discussed the island working closely together.

Perhaps our governments will take a leaf out of Chambers books and follow where we lead! Please do take away your copies and enjoy the read.

You may recall my “wish list” of results we would like to see from our politicians during my December speech? I had so much fun doing that…..I thought I would continue 2017 in the same vein!

The New Year has started with some political shake-ups so I felt this would be an ideal opportunity to give my predictions for 2017. So, with a little help from my committees, these are:

  1. As uncertainty around Brexit decreases more businesses will seek to finance growth projects. Demand from banks for lending will increase, and in doing so create more potential business for the island.
  2. Being a retailer will remain a tough business, and no review will take place of the tax advantages given to off island business who don’t collect GST in 2017.
  3. Population will continue to grow. Without giving a speech on this item alone, i would like to add that population will only decline or remain static during periods of economic uncertainty. We need to be careful what we wish for, and we need a full debate and strategy. Businesses exist to make a profit, they do not employ more staff than required and will look after existing staff if they are full invested in their business. They need the best person for the job and not compromise on quality. Business confidence is paramount in an island economy with factors outside our control that can affect our economy at any time.
  4. Travel & Tourism will continue to struggle to fill vacancies. Not because as we have heard in the media the positions are minimum wage, but because the industry is not seen as aspirational.
  5. Banks will become more proactive in the business community to promote cyber fraud awareness.
  6. Fort Regent will finish 2017 as it begun, with no fully thought through and costed plan for the centre.
  7. Relevant to today…there will be no strong message or resolution on student funding.
  8. In spite of the local elections not taking place until 2018, electioneering will be in full swing by September 2017, hide your babies!
  9. The formation of another political party will hit the front pages of our news media within the year.
  10. And finally, red tape will continue to frustrate businesses and potentially hamper business growth!

I would like to finish these 10 predictions with three positives:

  1. States initiatives such as Jersey Finance, Digital Jersey, Jersey Business and Visit Jersey will continue to make positive progress and be excellent business models.
  2. Jersey will remain an amazing place to live, and despite the fact that islanders do like a good moan, the good will outweigh the bad. We mustn’t forget that.
  3. And my third positive….as we have done for almost 250 years, Chamber will carry on promoting and supporting Jersey businesses large, small and all sizes in between, and we will not carry forward a financial deficit for the first time in a few years, next year.

Now as always Chamber is very keen to communicate with the business community and keep you up-to-date about our events such as these. So if you’re happy to be added to our emailing list then please place your businesses card in the glass bowl on your table. After the vote of thanks we’ll be drawing out one of the cards for a bottle of wine, kindly provided by our wine sponsors Dunnell’s Premier Wines. So place your business cards in there now.

Enjoy your meal and we look forward to hearing from Justin after lunch.


Justin Donovan—Chief Education Officer, States of Jersey Education Department 

Justin’s teaching career took him to West Sussex, Ealing and Richmond. He became a senior Education Officer, responsible for raising standards, in the East End of London. Before taking up his current post in Jersey, he was Director of Education for Hertfordshire for 10 years.

Justin has also had significant experience as an Ofsted Inspector, leading inspections across the UK and training and assessing UK School Inspectors. He was a member of a Ministerial Advisory Group, providing advice and policy development support to the UK government.

We are delighted to welcome him today and look forward to hearing from him about how the education system can ultimately strengthen the Jersey economy.



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