Singapore and Saudi Arabia, here we come!

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Ben Bendelow, group chief executive of Basel Trust Corporation, is chairing the second day of the Offshore Trust Services conference in Singapore, which focuses on investment strategies in Asia and Europe via offshore structures.

Mr Bendelow is also the moderator for a panel discussion on challenges facing the Asian offshore trust services.

lso attending the conference is Phil Austin, chief executive of Jersey Finance Ltd, the body part-funded by the States to represent and promote Jersey as an international finance centre.

r Austin said: ‘There will be a number of workshops and case studies looking at finance centres in that part of the world – Hong Kong, Singapore, Mauritius – and it’s not an area of the world I’m particularly familiar with, so it’s a good opportunity for me to go out and see what’s happening.

Singapore are selling themselves very aggressively on the back of the European Union tax package.

From Singapore Mr Austin will be travelling on to Saudi Arabia for the Jeddah Economic Forum.

Although the Foreign Office are currently advising visitors against going to the area, a number of high profile speakers are scheduled for the forum, including the Crown Princess of Sweden and former US president Bill Clinton.

ersey Finance were invited to the conference by a London contact, Saeb Eigner, the co-author of the book Sand to Silicon, which describes the growth of the Dubai economy over the last 50 years.

r Austin – who last month visited Dubai and the tenth international Islamic Banking Conference in Bahrain with Policy and Resources director of international finance, John Harris – said representatives from Bahrain had been invited to visit Jersey this spring.

People in Bahrain are very keen to do business with Jersey and there are a number of very interesting areas that we could explore – private client business, custody, possibly funds, insurance.

‘Bahrain doesn’t have the glamour of Dubai, and probably not the high potential, but it’s up and running and there are some good opportunities.

At regulator level we have a Memorandum of Understanding with them already in place.

The director general of the Jersey Financial Services Commission, David Carse, will also be visiting the region later this month.

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