The Isle of Man - A 'Celtic Tiger'

 

 Situated at the center of the British Isles, the Isle of Man is an internally self-governing dependent territory of the British Crown, a Crown Dependency that is not part of the United Kingdom, but is rather geographically part of the British Isles.

 

Tynwald, the Islandís 1,025 year old Parliament, makes its own laws and oversees all internal administration, fiscal, and social policies.  By convention the UK Government administers the Island's external interests, such as foreign representation and defense, on the Islandís behalf and the Island makes an annual payment to the UK Government for these services.  As a British Crown Dependency, the ultimate responsibility for the Islandís good government is vested in the Crown, but by long standing convention the UK Government does not legislate for the Island except with the specific consent of the Islandís Government.  

 

The Island has its own income tax and customs and excise services and it has long been a low tax area enjoying total independence from the UK on matters of direct taxation.  There is low corporate and personal tax and no capital taxes.  There are specifically no corporate taxes for space related activities.  As a consequence, the Island has developed into a flourishing offshore business center committed to maintaining a high standard of regulation and business practices.  Its prudent fiscal management has consistently been recognized for the last five consecutive years by both Standard & Poors and Moodys who have continued to award the Isle of Man Government their coveted AAA rating.

 

The Island has a relatively well-balanced economy that combines traditional industries such as agriculture, fishing, and tourism with areas of recent growth such as financial services, shipping, and manufacturing.  Finance and manufacturing are now particularly important contributors to the Islandís national income.

 

The Islandís Government has encouraged economic growth in recent years by creating a sympathetic tax regime and suitable legislative and regulatory framework for expansion and by offering financial incentives where necessary.  The economy of the Island has grown by an average six percent a year for the last twelve years and is now the fastest growing economy in Europe, outstripping even the Republic of Ireland.  This has been achieved against a backdrop of low crime, low inflation, and good social cohesion underpinned by a health and education system, which is better financed and more generous than that of the United Kingdom, and is recognized as one of the best in the world.  

 

Telecommunications is an area of international expertise for the Isle of Man.  Via the Island's telecommunications provider, Manx Telecom, the Island has long enjoyed the status of a telecommunications technology test-bed.  As such, the Island's telecommunications infrastructure is state of the art and boasted the world's first operational '3G' wireless cellular communications system, tied directly to digital exchanges, a satellite ground station, and over 1.2 terra-bytes per second of existing fiber cable capacity to the United Kingdom, Eire, Europe, and beyond, serving the Island's financial and banking services industry.

 

While other offshore centers have become overcrowded and expensive, the Isle of Man is in the fortunate position of being able to provide affordable, high-quality commercial and residential accommodation in a spacious and scenic environment.  It has the capacity for sustaining growth for many years while continuing to retain its many virtues.

 

Although the Isle of Man is not part of the European Union (EU), the Island enjoys a special relationship with the EU and this relationship allows streamlined movement of goods between the Island and the EU. A special clause in the Treaty of Rome recognizes the Island in this regard, namely 'Protocol Three' to the United Kingdom's Treaty of Accession. The Isle of Man also enjoys membership of the O.E.C.D. and of the World Trade Organization (W.T.O.) and the International Monetary Fund (I.M.F.). Regular sea and air services for passengers and freight allow quick and easy access between the Island and the UK, the Irish Republic, and beyond.

 

 

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