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Isle of Man Hosts British-Irish Council Summit

by Jason Gorringe, Lowtax.net, London
04 December, 2014

The Isle of Man has hosted the 23rd British-Irish Council (BIC) summit, which this year focused on digital inclusion.

The summit was chaired by Isle of Man Chief Minister, Allan Bell, and was attended by Jersey Chief Minister, Ian Gorst, and Guernsey Chief Minister, Jonathan Le Tocq.

The Isle of Man has an established track record in investing in its Information Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure and was one of the first countries in the world to introduce a 3G mobile Internet network in 2001.

The BIC is an international forum, comprising the Governments of the UK, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Isle of Man, Jersey, and Guernsey, that plays an important role in developing links between member countries and serves as a platform for consultation and co-operation on matters of mutual interest.

The Isle of Man Minister for Policy and Reform, Chris Robertshaw, said: "The Isle of Man is leading the BIC's work group on digital inclusion, so it was fitting that we became the first nation to host a BIC e-summit. Our work in this area is aimed at making more Government services available online, eliminating bureaucracy and reducing the social isolation felt by certain sections within our communities. The use of digital technology continues to make a vital contribution to our national priorities of growing the economy, rebalancing the budget, and protecting vulnerable people."

Le Tocq said: "The discussion and sharing of best practice in relation to digital inclusion is particularly welcome at a time when the States of Guernsey has identified the need to improve and widen the ways it delivers services and information to islanders by becoming more effective and efficient in the digital arena. The delivery of services through e-government initiatives is a way of achieving that, and sharing best practice and expertise with other members of the British-Irish Council is invaluable."

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