The Isle of Man, one of the UK's crown dependencies, plans to strengthen its economic links with Commonwealth countries ahead of Brexit by becoming a strategic partner of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC), reports International Adviser.
The move was announced by Howard Quayle, chief minister for the Isle of Man, as one of a series of measures aimed at preserving – and possibly strengthening – the crown dependency’s economic status after Brtiain's planned withdrawal from the European Union.
Home to 2.4 billion people, The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 52 independent and equal sovereign states that are mostly former territories of the British Empire.
“Looking ahead to a world beyond Brexit, the Commonwealth offers a global network of markets and opportunities that the Isle of Man is particularly well placed to support,” said Quayle, who will represent the crown dependency on the organisation’s advisory board.
“We specialise in facilitating international trade and investment and we look forward to making a positive contribution to the work of the CWEIC.”
As a crown dependency, the Isle of Man cannot be a member of the Commonwealth in its own right.
However, by becoming a strategic partner of the cross-governmental association, it “will build on existing business links with Commonwealth members such as South Africa and India and help to open up new opportunities for the island,” the government of the Isle of Man said in a statement.
The Council is also responsible for the Commonwealth Business Forum, part of the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Summits which is to be held in the UK next year.
“We are delighted to welcome the Isle of Man as a Strategic Partner of CWEIC,” Lord Marland, chairman of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council, said.
“It is a great testament to the Isle of Man’s government that they see the fantastic opportunity within the Commonwealth for trade and business, and to play a central role at the Commonwealth Business Forum to be held in London next April.”