Business / Economy

Isle of Man aims to attract Chinese investment

By Chen Qide in Shanghai ( Updated: 2014-12-19 15:47

The Isle of Man, a self-governing dependent territory of the British Crown, is launching a promotional campaign in China to attract more Chinese investors for its economic expansion.

"We hope to have more Chinese investors coming to the island to involve its economic development," said Steven Beevers, head of Special Projects under the Department of Economic Development of the Isle of Man Government.

The government has sent a group to China this week to seek business opportunities in Beijing, Guangzhou in Guangdong province and Shanghai.

Beevers said Britain has emerged as the most favorite European country for Chinese's outward investments including property, and Chinese investors have set their eyes on the UK property market for the sake of its liquidity, gracious living environment and enormous education resources.

"In the first six months of 2014, the combined private and institutional investment from China into the UK exceeded $2.2 billion, over 17 percent more than the same period of last year," Beevers said.

He said the island could play a role in supporting Chinese investors when they invest in the UK property market.

Some Chinese companies, he added, have opted to use the services of the Isle of Man to enter the UK property market successfully.

The island is also home to major international developers such as Peel Holdings who is co- investing with Chinese partners to create spectacular office tower and port developments in nearby Liverpool and the Wirral and also Dandara Group who has built numerous apartments in Manchester and other UK centers to sell them to Chinese students for their accommodation.

Beevers said increasingly good potential commercial property investment opportunities are also arising in the island by virtue of the need for new five star hotels and planned redevelopment of its ports, marinas, energy and other projects. There are some outstanding residential properties available in the Isle of Man from £500,000 to £35m.

"In addition to the above, the Isle of Man is increasingly being discovered by Chinese business people and wealthy individuals for its own superb choice of high end real estate, the possibility of migration as investors or entrepreneurs and for its private school education, not to mention that the Isle of Man is increasingly becoming a location of choice for Chinese trading and other businesses to establish a European sales or trading base," he said.

More than 400 Chinese have lived in the island, said Simon Pickering, head of the department's Retail Financial Services, adding that the growth is obvious.

"We have found that many Chinese people want to send their children to UK for education and many Chinese enterprises are seeking investment possibilities in Europe, creating a golden opportunity for the island to provide them with an ideal place to live in and run businesses," Pickering said.

Beevers said during the visit, they have talked about with one Chinese enterprise which will launch a $1.63 billion energy project in the island by setting up a production base and providing 40 jobs within five to six years.

"We have found the potential for attracting more Chinese investors is very great, for they have found the island an ideal place for investment," he said.

The island, he said, will announce several important projects funded by Chinese enterprises next year, but he didn't give details.

"We will redouble efforts to promote the island in China by cooperating with other British cities," he added.

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