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Economy & Business

SWOT3: Where the Opportunities might lie

The third catalogue from the assessment by our imaginary consultant

This is the way to go

Our imaginary consultant – asked to list Guernsey’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats – can see a good many opportunities:


  • The island is not overcrowded and can tolerate more people – so, avoid the ‘Galapagos effect’, bring the locals back home and import more of the skills and entrepreneurs who can make a difference. Modify the housing/work permit policy accordingly.
  • The island is not over-built, just poorly planned – so start thinking upwards (and eastwards), and restrict development elsewhere.  Guernsey is a garden island.
  • Make it a priority to attract inward business investment – ‘one Specsavers every two years’.
  • Make parastatal entities profitable.
  • Prioritise infrastructure investments – harbour and eastern seaboard developments, Bridge, Admiral Park, Ann’s Place Garden, multi-storey carpark.
  • Offer a Welcome Mat to incomers, and introduce a concept of ‘citizenship’.  Then confine the vote to citizens.
  • Do everything to ensure best digital connectivity in the world – including server capacity.
  • Introduce a bursary scheme for students to undertake their studies and repay later by working for the States.
  • Review and prioritise all possibilities for a third leg to the economy – more gaming/more rentiers/adventure tourism/medical ‘tourism’/fintech/cannabis farms/specialist tertiary education.
  • Revive traditional specialist exports: butter, cream, cow semen, flowers (even tomatoes?).
  • Own internal CI air routes and the LGW route. Open all others to competition.
  • Promote a Gsy/Poole-only or Portsmouth-only ferry service covering goods, cars and people.  Collaborate with Jersey on separate Gsy-Jsy route.  Increase cooperation with Jsy generally.
  • Revive village life in selected parish locations.
  • Review and prioritise all opportunities for Guernsey to be a world ‘testbed’ – trials for AI, for bans on petrol/diesel cars alongside electric cars and bicycles, for public transport as a whole.
  • Upgrade statistics collection, make it independent.  Create a ‘fact tank’ for policy reviews.
  • Review and prioritise those areas of social policy which must remain with government and those which should be left to the third sector.
  • Simplify StartUpGsy/SkillsGsy/DigitalGsy.  Ditto Gsy Finance/LocateGsy/VisitGsy.
  • Encourage greater transparency and public debate over policy choices. 
  • Upgrade the current microrepresentation abroad rather than rely on UK. 
  • Develop higher value-added activities across the board.

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