The Island, which is located in the Irish Sea between England and Ireland, is a popular relocation destination with a population of roughly 80,000, of which just over 8,000 are South Africans.
The event was sponsored by Standard Bank, and was organized and coordinated by Isle Settle, in collaboration with the SA Chamber of Commerce UK. The Mayor of Douglas, Councilor Natalie Byron, opened the festival with welcoming words of a long mutual relationship between the Isle of Man and South Africa; and further expressed their warmth towards the rainbow nation.
The Deputy Minister of Trade and Enterprise, Honourable Jane Poole-Wilson, addressed the Saffas, unpacking why the Island is so attractive to South Africans. She firstly mentioned the constitutional relationship as a crown dependency of the United Kingdom, rather than a constitute, which means they can be agile to the needs of the people and the economy. She added that the island plan and economic strategy sets out an ambitious vision for the future, and the Island has an economy that is exciting and hungry for more of the skills and energy that people and businesses from South Africa can bring. Hon Poole-Wilson acknowledged that the people and companies at the festival were excellent ambassadors of this and highlighted that the Isle of Man is keen to build on these links.
She boasted her belief that the Isle of Man is the best place to live and work, while quoting the HSBC expat survey, which confirms this by ranking the Isle of Man the ‘Best Place to Live and Work in the British Isles’, measuring quality of life, access to education, and political and economic stability.
Tax Consulting South Africa and Xpatweb, were invited as sponsors of the event as the premium mobility service provider to businesses and individuals on the Island, which includes immigration solutions as well as holistic tax planning and compliance across borders. They were able to connect with professionals to extend solutions to a multitude of challenges which are faced during the relocation process. They further consulted with individuals who have settled in and are still dealing with questions and uncertainties around their current tax and immigration compliance.
Sharon Constançon, Chairman of the SA Chamber of Commerce UK, a South African herself living in the UK for the last 20 years, closed proceedings echoing the sentiments of the Deputy Minister and showing support for individuals and business who are looking to relocate to the Isle of Man.
The Isle of Man continues to be a popular destination, actively attracting skills and talent across various industries including financial services, technology and gaming, medical, entrepreneurship and innovation. The favourable tax incentives, short path to British citizenship, accessibility, and lifestyle, are some of the factors pulling more and more South Africans to the Island.