Treasury Minister Meets Financial Leaders in Washington – Announces Plan to Help Developing Small States

WASHINGTON DC, October 13, 2008 – Treasury Minister, Allan Bell, in Washington to attend the IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings, held informal meetings over the weekend with the leaders of the international financial institutions and with ministers and officials of both industrialised and developing countries. Of particular note was the Minister’s lengthy and helpful discussion with OECD Secretary General, Angel Gurria, who has recently characterised the Isle of Man as a model for its openness and cooperative stance towards other jurisdictions.

On Saturday, the Minister was the keynote speaker at the Small States Forum hosted by the World Bank where he met its President, Robert Zoellick. “The president had just come from a tense G-7 finance ministers meeting and discussed the more coordinated international response to the global financial crisis that has emerged over the past few days. He stressed that now is the time for governments across the world to start putting in place improved regulatory and other policies rather than waiting until the crisis has run its course.”

This is the first time that a delegation from the Isle of Man has attended the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank and follows the election of the Island as the first Associate Member of the Small States Network for Economic Development. In his statement to the Small States Forum, the Minister announced a major new initiative that will leverage the Isle of Man’s financial sector expertise to benefit of other small states, many of which are amongst the poorest countries in the world.

An innovative executive education programme run by Oxford University’s Saïd Business School will enable some 25 officials a year from the central banks, finance ministries and regulatory bodies of small states to improve their ability to manage their financial sectors and engage more effectively with the global financial system.

The initiative will bring together leading professors from Oxford, Harvard, and other universities, along with practitioners from throughout the world, including several from the Isle of Man, to engage with 25 small state officials each year for a two week highly participatory programme using the facilities of the Isle of Man International Business School, starting in September 2009.