After returning from a three-day business summit in the US capital, Senator Lyndon Farnham said that he would like to bring American delegates to the Island, as he looks to bolster Jersey’s cross-Atlantic trade relations.
The possibility of stronger business ties between Britain and the US has grown in recent years with Brexit causing the UK to look further afield for trade deals, including with its closest ally.
Senator Farnham, who is also the Deputy Chief Minister, said that trade with the US was increasing even before the UK decided to leave the EU.
‘For sometime before Brexit the US has been viewed as a growing market for us,’ he said.
‘It is our third-largest customer in terms of financial services now and Jersey Finance is opening an office in New York later this year.
‘With Brexit, the US could become an increasingly important market for Jersey in terms of doing business.’
During the trips Senator Farnham and his team met Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, various trade officials and economic development officers from Washington State, New Jersey, Maryland, Arizona and Virginia.
They also met officials representing two political representatives from New Jersey – Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman and Congressman Donald Norcross.
The Senator said that Jersey’s burgeoning medicinal cannabis and digital sectors, as well as the finance industry, were discussed during the trip.
‘Our main discussions were with New Jersey and that was because of the revival of the historical and cultural links we have been working on with them since 2015,’ he said.
‘New Jersey is one of the states that is looking very closely at medicinal cannabis and the technology around that and there
are possibilities that we could benefit from that.
‘The development of their medicinal cannabis industry is something that we could work very closely with them on. But our meetings were time-limited and we were only able to discuss things at a very high level during our visit.’
He added: ‘Another area where there was interest was in our digital sector. The fact that we have broadband fibre in every home could interest American companies who want to use the Island as a digital testbed.
‘We want to invite them over to Jersey for further talks about American companies operating here and about Jersey exporting there.’
Jersey Business and the States’ global markets team are planning to arrange a visit to Jersey by officials from the US Embassy in London to further discuss trade opportunities.
Any firms which are interested in participating should contact Jersey Business at email@example.com.