Throughout history the island of Jersey has always operated as an entrepôt– a trading post between Europe and the United Kingdom resulting in different industries exploiting constitutional loopholes and benefitting from economic trading relationships with business partners worldwide. Within the context of Brexit and uncertainty of future trade relations Entrepôt will explore how, through the prism of colonial and family history, Jersey’s original wealth generated by the proceeds from the North Atlantic fisheries and maritime trade in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries lay the foundation for the island’s contemporary prosperity as an International Finance Centre.
Theoretically, Entrepôt is based around Rosemary E. Ommer’s structural economical analysis of the Jersey-Gaspé cod fishery which reveals a functional three-pointed trading system in what she refers to as a ‘merchant triangle’ with production in Canada, management in Jersey and markets in the Mediterranean, the West Indies and Brazil. Her central question in her book is: ‘How did the cod-fishery, functioning as a commodity trade, shape the economic development of the metropole that managed it and the colony that produced it.’ (Ommer)
Jersey’s historic merchant trade of global commodities conducted across multiple outposts can be seen as a blueprint for a future offshore financial services industry facilitating international flow of capitol from other jurisdictions. Combining two long-term research and lens-based projects The Seaflower Venture and Masterplan it proposes to re-address parts of the legacy upon which the island’s economic growth and development in the past, present and future has been told.