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The European Senior Tour over the weekend showed that the golf course is yet to lose its status as an incubator for business relationships.
Sino-British relations were on top form at Jersey’s La Moye Golf Club which returned to the island for the first time since 2010.
When asked why Jersey Treasury Minister, Senator Alan Maclean, had partnered with UK Chinese Ambassador Liu Xiaoming for the PGA event, Senator Maclean said: “Jersey has made it no secret that it wants to have strong ties with China. We see the future with China and have already established a number of ties.”
He told our Finbuzz reporter with the 9-iron that it was “natural that golf and finance come together on the island” with Jersey boasting an illustrious history of being a centre of both.
Fabled six-time Open Championship winner Harry Vardon was born on the island, while Jersey’s status as a financial hub goes back to 1259 when it was granted as a special jurisdiction by the King of England in exchange for not defecting to France.
With Jersey Dairy already exporting milk, butter and ice cream to Chinese distributors and Jersey telecom company JT buying equipment from the world’s second biggest economy, Senator Maclean hopes to expand Jersey’s commercial relationship with China into the financial sector.
“We hope to grow these economic ties even further and as a financial hub, to work with the Chinese market more in relation to commercial and private trust work,” Maclean added as he packed up his golf gear to get to a meeting in town.
Lucky for the minister, Ambassador Xiaoming seemed to enjoy the Acorn Jersey Open 2015 as much as he did. “It was a great day, I enjoyed partnership and friendship through sport very much,” he told our Finbuzz reporter.
Sponsored by Jersey lender Acorn, and Locate Jersey, the event attracted some familiar – and less familiar – names. Former World Number One and long-time Channel Island resident Ian Woosnam was among the roll call, but missed out on taking a place in the top three. On the first day professional players André Bossert from Switzerland and Juan Quiros from Spain led, with Englishman Mark Davis and Canadian Rick Gibson placing third.
On the second day Sweden’s Anders Forsbrand and the Australian Peter Fowler led, with two English men, Mark David and Andrew Sherborne coming third alongside Bossert. On the third day Peter Fowler won, and Forsbrand came second.
“Our clients love the event and it’s a good venue for corporate hospitality. Unfortunately today I was too busy to play myself but I do enjoy having a round of golf on a regular basis”, said Acorn director, Richard Harrop.
Photo: Dominic Beckford