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Home | September 2010 Please tell us what you think of this article. Tell a friend Print Friendly

St Helena : St Helena and DFID
Submitted by Saint Helena Herald (Juanita Brock) 30.09.2010 (Article Archived on 14.10.2010)

On 10th August 2010, the Executive Council endorsed an outline of the objectives, principles and policy intentions to be included in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to be agreed between the St Helena Government (SHG) and HMG on how St Helena will implement reforms needed to open the Island’s economy to investment and tourism.

INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (DFID)


 


On 10th August 2010, the Executive Council endorsed an outline of the objectives, principles and policy intentions to be included in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to be agreed between the St Helena Government (SHG) and HMG on how St Helena will implement reforms needed to open the Island’s economy to investment and tourism.


 


The signing of the MOU is a pre-condition of achieving air access and is also essential to the long term economic and social development of the Island.


 


In accordance with the timetable agreed with the Department for International Development (DfID), SHG today (24th September) sent a first working draft of the MOU to London for consideration.  This document is the outcome of a great deal of intensive work by elected Members working together with the support of the Strategic Planning and Policy Unit and other senior officers in SHG.


 


The draft MOU has been able to draw on existing strands of work, including the Public Service Modernisation Programme, the ongoing reform of the finance welfare system and the current review of employment legislation. 


 


Some features of the MOU present considerable challenges for St Helena as they may involve changing long established legislation or policies. Councillors are leading cross-cutting working groups to take forward these issues and have started consultation with stakeholders.  Councillors are fully aware that St Helena is at present a much less attractive investment destination than its potential competitors.  This means that the Island must put in place globally competitive land, tax and immigration policies and attract significantly greater numbers of tourists, whilst retaining the economic benefits on the Island.


 


The Head of the Strategic Planning and Policy Unit, Mrs Susan O’Bey, emphasised today that the working draft being sent to DFID was only the first step in a process that would lead to a final document being agreed between SHG and HMG in December. For its part, DfID has agreed to provide initial comments by 29th September to allow SHG to continue this important work and start more detailed drafting.


 


Commenting on the process made so far, Acting Governor Andrew Wells said “Whilst there is obviously still a long way to go, there is equally no doubt of the commitment of this Government to sign up to the policies and legislation needed to take the Island forward.  The bottom line is that it is not enough for St Helena to be attractive to business; it must eventually seek to be more attractive than other jurisdictions. The alternative is to face the prospect of continued out-migration, family separation and economic decline.”


 


Office of the Chief Secretary


The Castle


24 September 2010

 

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