Council starts work on attracting money back

| 23/03/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman business news, Cayman investment and finance(CNS): A National Investment Council has been formed to focus on attracting inward investment and public-private partnerships to the Cayman Islands to begin boosting the country’s economic prospects. The premier saidthat the council would be responsible for marketing Cayman and attracting new business to accelerate the recovery. The council will also be looking after existing investments, assisting the development of local small businesses as well as developing an overall national investment strategy.

 “As a matter of precedence, a strategic planning exercise is needed to identify cross-cutting concerns and opportunities across our economic sectors and set priorities which will guide short-term marketing efforts to bring investors to Cayman,” McKeeva Bush said in a release from the Department of Commerce and Investment, as the Cayman Islands Investment Bureau is now known.

“I look forward to working closely with the NIC as the central coordination point for this initiative and thus ensure that these Islands accelerate along the path to economic recovery and growth.”

According to the release, the NIC’s inaugural meeting focused on inter-agency coordination and developing streamlined processes to meet investors’ expectations, particularly in the financial services sector.   A presentation by Department of Commerce and investment Executive Director, Dax Basdeo, PhD, on research and plans to date for the development of a national investment strategy provided the basis for the NIC’s agenda. 

Dr Basdeo said government expects the NIC to identify, as one of its objectives, sustaining long-term investments in the Cayman Islands through public-private sector collaboration.  He added that to ensure success of the programme, all components of the Cayman Islands investment offering must work in concert to meetthe needs of domestic and international investors.

The NIC also discussed continued investment in small businesses by creating links for them to capitalise on new industries and opportunities. NIC Chairman William Peguero said it was of utmost importance in today’s investment environment to remain competitive and stay one step ahead of other jurisdictions.

The NIC will be supported by an Investment Advisory Committee (IAC) consisting of senior civil servants from Immigration, Planning, Environment, Employment Relations, Customs, Tourism, Financial Services and Agriculture. The IAC will provide technical input on all matters before the NIC, determine the criteria and standards for evaluation projects, review applications submitted by investors and make recommendations to the NIC.

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Comments (32)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    No, no no! Surely not. We must spend at least another 12 months getting to the bottom of who is to blame for the money leaving in the first place before we can even think about how we are going to get it back.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Attract more business? sure but not until we fix what is wrong. Let us start with proper education for our young people as they are our future and we need to teach them well and let them lead the way. Reduce the unemployment in this country by ensuring that every willing and able Caymanian is employed.  Stop using work permits as a primary source of revenue so that employers have this as a bargining chip over the country. Stop the unnecessary mass development of this country we have created  this mess in just one generation what will be left for the next to develop? Some of our politicians need to stop being so greedy by being all too willing to sell these islands and its people to the highest bidder.  Realise that more is not necessarily better.  More development more jobs for expats as we don’t have the people here to fill these positons and more demand on our infrastracture and more social ills.  Last but not least stop the guns and drugs that is coming into this country as we do not produce or trade legally in none of these,  they are a menace to this country and its people.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The cycle continues ..more investments, more work permits.

    What about the people that are here? 

    Why isnt the business industry here enhanced with new investment opportunites to offer more and give more jobs. Instead, the businesses are struggling.

  4. Joe Bananas says:

    It really is all coming down to the question." Why have a business in the Cayman islands?"  Will it be possible to make a profit and not have to give it all to the Government and the "essential" non performing Caymanian work force? (which is really the same thing.)

  5. Anonymous says:

    Government is its own enemy.

    Unlike government, no business can lose money and still survive, so profitability is essential.

    Employees are key to making this happen, so any interference in whom a business may employ is poison.

    Not all businesses will have the same poison tolerance but those who’s tolerance is exceeded will be killed.

    Therefore, itis essential that government removes itself from all interference in business employment in particular, and from all attempts at micro management in general.

    Removing the poison is all that it needed to re-vitalize the existing businesses which are somehow still alive, and attract new ones.

    • FUZZY says:

      To Anonymous Wed 08:56 The reason for attracting business to Cayman is to benefit Caymanians.Therefore if Caymanians do not benefit from your being here ,you need to pass us by .Thank you.

      • Anonymous says:

        They do benefit massively from the fees and charges paid by the companies through work permit fees etc. The expatriates also spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in the local economy.

        Without either source of revenue the country would be further down the toilet than it already is.

        You may think you haven’t benefitted but when you’re driving in your nice 4×4, texting on your blackberry on the way to your own home, spare a though as to how you attained these things. They were paid for by foreign investors and companies. You wouldn’t be able to afford the lifestyle you are accustomed to on your alternative income from rope making.

        Thousands of Caymanians benefit from the foreign investment and there is plenty of space (rightfully) for those willing, qualified and skilled Caymanians to make a good living at these companies. This benefits the comanies and is a positive for the investors.

        What is not positive is not being able to employ competent, skilled and qualified staff to fill key roles. Instead they areheld to ransom by the government to employ an unqualifed caymanian that often is not up to the job. This increases the cost base of the companiy as they are forced to employ a lot of dead weight caymanians to be allowed to employ a few expat workers to carry them through and correct all the errors made by the incompetent local staff.

        • Anonymous says:

          Good luck getting that message through here.  Unfortunately Caymanians would ask "if our Goverment can take $1,000,000 and turn it into $5,000,000 in pay checks, why can’t you?"

        • Anonymous says:

          Should we now bow down and kiss your ring  "Your Holiness"?

          You may think you haven’t benefitted but when you’re driving in your nice 4×4, texting on your blackberry on the way to your own home, spare a though as to how you attained these things. They were paid for by foreign investors and companies. You wouldn’t be able to afford the lifestyle you are accustomed to on your alternative income from rope making.

          You obviously don’t get it we were contented and happy with our rope making.  Again  let me remind you, prospectors did not come here and found a bunch of cave dwellers, homeless or helpless people.  Long before you and the so called investors that you refer to knew about us we had every convenience that we needed.  Caymanians were never hungry, homeless, angry or unhappy prior to the 4×4 and  blackberry.  In the event that you really believeyou own fairy tale that we never had our homes I say pity you.  I repeat we were never a homeless people, we’ve always had homes and well constructed traditional homes all of which endured the ravages of hurricane Ivan unlike those that the foreign investors brought us.  

          As for the 4×4 we had better and more efficient modes of transport, donkey (sounds familiar?), bicycles, and cat boats, no environment or obesity problems then.  Not to mention blackberry we communicated more with each other and were a very loving and close knit people. We did not have to define who a Caymanian was who had the right to be called a Caymanian we knew that we were Caymanians and could tell each other from back on in Arch Angel Russia.

      • anon says:

        To ‘Fuzzy’ and others…..Many businesses beneficial  to ‘Caymanians’ have or will plan on exiting Cayman.  Seems to me a better position would be to determine why those agreed to be beneficial have alreadyleft or plan to leave, and to attempt to correct the causes leading to their departure.

        Try looking in the mirror, ask yourself about the increasing crimes rate, the apparent hostility of some locals toward non Cayman people, the "blame others" excuses, the eagerness to curry favor with foreign governments by enforcing foreign laws that are not Cayman laws…..all this for a start. 

        Simply put, Cayman’s future (and successful past) was and will (in my humble opinion) be based on tourism, offshore business presence, and financial security for foreign investors both individual and corporate.  This is what leads to jobs and money.

        There (so far) have been no natural resources (read water, oil, minerals, etc.,) to develop or market and nothing to sustain the current population in way of agriculture.  If there are sufficient numbers of people who don’t understand this and act positively, the future

        may grow much dimmer and ultimately life there may return to subsistence living and the population will shrink to ten per cent of what you now have.

        I sincerely hope that more visionary thought and leadership will prevail.



  6. Anonymous says:

    What’s the point in trying to attract money here, when our crime situation is spiralling out of control? Who will want to come here now?  Who will want to invest their money here, when it’s becoming more dangerous every day?

    I say fix the crime first, then focus on attracting new money.

  7. Anonymous says:

    “As a matter of precedence, a strategic planning exercise is needed to identify cross-cutting concerns and opportunities across our economic sectors and set priorities which will guide short-term marketing efforts to bring investors to Cayman,”

    Mr. Premier:  What about the investors who are already here just waiting for the you to bring forward some local initiatives to support them?  The one or two big investors you’re praying for to bail out Cayman PLC are just not out there at this time. Forget the many reasons why Cayman is not an attractive jurisdiction to invest in at the moment, the worldwide economy is as flat as the proverbial pancake.   
    Stop trying to fill the government coffers directly. Turn your attention to helping home-grown entrepreneurs grow the local economy, which will raise funds through the usual method of indirect taxation.  Governments gets wealthy by a buoyant economy, not from a few inward investors; because if this were the case, your coffers would be brimming over from the revenue raised from the huge Camana Bay and Ritz Carlton projects, amongst others.
  8. Anonymous says:

    The government is trying its best to assist businesses on island. For all those complainers have you notices that  the economic down turn is happening all over the world and is not unique to the Cayman Islands.

    You love to complain about the cost of doing business here what do you really want the government and people of these islands to do? Since doing business here is so expensive, staff so lazy and unprofessional.  I would suggest that you try Anguilla, they need business and is a very good and safe destination.  Bahamas that is very beautiful and has a very educated workforce with close proximity to the USA. BVI which is very similar to the Cayman Islands with a very thriving financial industry and lots more tourists than here. Turks and Caicos they really need business and doing business with them will be easy now that it is being governed by the British that we know are very educated and honest people.  Bermuda which is a gem in the Atlantic lots of educated people and a highly educated work force.  Oh but you have to contribute in all these islands but paying income taxes and the work permit process is not that easy but who cares about work permits when you can find quality and qualified locals to work in any given position.   

    Change is gonna come, wait until President Obama’s ink dries on his historic Health Care Bill and he goes after the HIRE bill . 

    Thank God Native Caymanians know how to fish and we still eat bread kind.



    • Anonymous says:

      17:00  The government is trying……. Your comments have been noted and they are for real —  but you forgot the Hurricane Season escape.

  9. Anon says:

    I can only hope they are not trying to attract this kind of money.

    Word on the street is that this particular individual is well known in the Cayman Islands.

  10. Anonymous says:

    They should focus on local employment problems whether its with education, the DER, or immigration as much as bringing new business in.

    • Anonymous says:

      There’s not much point in focusing on local employment if there isn’t a corresponding focus on new business to build and sustain local employment.

    • BORN FREE says:

      After chasing existing investors as well as potential investors away from the Cayman Islands by telling the world that we are bankrupt, Mckeeva Bush is now forming a "Council to start work on attracting money back"? Is that what this Council is about? Maybe he should have thought about the damage his words would have! 
      I hope he has more success with this Council than he did with his failed attempts at attracting business back to Cayman with his "worldwind vacation tours" to such exotic & expensive vacation spots like Dubai, London, Washington, India, New York, New Zealand, London again, Canada, China, Hong Kong & other waste of money cities! That exercise was a complete waste of our money & time. What have we seen as a result of all those expensive trips? Nothing!
      Business & sensible business people do not want to invest their money in a bankrupt country! Mckeeva Bush dug our grave before he went on his "world tour vacation" & as a result it was a complete failure!

      The man never thinks before he speaks, & it always comes back to haunt him (or should I say it always comes back to haunt Cayman?) 

    • Anonymous says:

      ummm, I think that’s probably their intention when bringing new business in… creating new jobs and focusing on local employment, particularly as so many are likely to get cut from the CS when the Premier finally gets real about the tough decisions he has to make.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully the demand for fish and rope will be enough to keep Cayman going once they have finally bitten off the hand that feeds them

    When you first arrived here did you find us starving, homeless, jobless or begging? 

    I am sure Caymanians did not invite you here to buy their fish and rope; your hand certainly did not feed us as a matter of fact we fed you and is still doing so until you find greener pastures to move on to and I sincerely hope that it will be soon.


  12. Money tips says:

    $$$ solutions:


    1 – Jazz Fest:

    As popular as the last Jazz Fest was with not only the international but also the local audience, why don’t we think about incorporating an annual time for MEGA YACHTS to come in to register that coincides with when the Fest is on?

    I would imagine this would be a smart move to attract the "millionaire tourist" to take advantage of the weather and the entertainment being provided this time of year.

    What will happen is, the yacht owners will be aware of the registering time, they know their vessels will be traveling to a Caribbean destination so why not "kill two birds with one stone" and take advantage of the trip and the Jazz Fest and of course, hob nob with their ‘power pals’?

    Yes, I am sure it will be some logistics involved in setting up a registering period like this for the Shipping Reg. But, the idea should be explored!!!

    St. Barts is quickly becoming a celebrities "play ground" with the likes of Beyonce, Jay-Z, Simon Cowell, Oprah etc, etc. Magazine’s and papparazzi pictures will show Cayman splashed around the world! And this type of exposure would generate a new found interest in Cayman for more reasons, than just banking!

    Hotels, car rentals, entertainment, and local bands will start getting more bookings, which should generate jobs for Caymanians once again, and with as many bodyguards these celebs travel with, am sure crime will go down too!!! 🙂

    We need our tourism market. And if the "millionaires club" want to save a buck by coming here to register then let them be forced to abide by the changes in our registering time or they risk losing big money. Simple.

    And in today’s economic times, everybody’s playing hard ball and so should we! We are already implementing policies to control money laundering, so there should be no fear in implementing something like this.

    It’s worth a try.


    2 – Fines:


    Instead of wasting man power and court time by having persons who are caught with "petty" crimes (at least compaired to the types of crimes we see occuring now) such as, speeding, ganja smoking, licensing etc. Why, don’t we just bring the offenders into the Police station document their charge and fine them there and then?

    For example if someone is brought in for being caught with a "spliff", charge then $100 for their FIRST offensive with no charges being placed on their record. Charge them $200 for their 2nd offense, $300 for their 3rd and this time with a charge on their record, and $1000 there after for up to 8 convictions, then it’s court time! The same can be done for speeders and other offense’s deemed suitable for this process.

    With the amount of resources being dished out now, for what obviously will never be wiped out, it is better to at least make money off of it!!

    I know there won’t be too many people opting to go to court when it will only take them $100 to settle the matter swiftly!!


    But I do hope these ideas are carefully looked into by the powers that be.As a citizen who is not in a position to make changes to the law, I at this point just want to express my ideas in order to assist gov’t with what is quickly becoming a grave concern……CAYMAN BEING BROKE!! Am sure there will be the nay-sayers who will see the negatives in these proposals, but let’s see what better solutions are out there then!!

    People, throw your ideas out there to us/them. Gov’t needs help ….


    • noname says:

      Smart thinking. I like the idea about the yachts. And the fines are what they need to do to make money back.

      Good thinking.

      • Xeno says:

        The Cayman Regatta is an excellent idea.  If it was properly timed and marketed, it could be a big international event like the London International Boat Show.

        In this case it would have a true association with the Cayman Islands because of the existing ship registry businesses.


  13. Don't worry I wont stay says:

    First project for the NIC should be the Shetty Hospital.  

    I lived in Vancouver when Steve Wynn wanted to build a multi million dollar thousand room Hotel, Convention Center and Casino that would have employed thousands. The city voted no to the casino component. Steve went back to Las Vegas and decided to build The Bellagio, which opened three years after Vancouver voted against a Casino. Ten years later, Steve has gone on to build another great property, The Wynn, and Vancouver has a dozen cheap, nasty little Casino’s. 

    What will we say if Dr. Shetty pulls out of this project for whatever reason and we watch a thousand bed medical city revitalize the economy of the country he chooses? Will the half dozen 10 bed Botox clinics that replace it really count as medical tourism?



    • Anonymous says:

      Las Vegas is the prefect location for Dr. Shetty’s Hospital.  It has the population to satisfy and fill all his building and other employment needs.  He does not even have to import one employee. Cayman does not have the staff to fulfill his needs any development of this magnatitude will put further strain on our infrastracture that we cannot afford at this time.

      The Cayman Islands wish Dr. Shetty all the best with his hosptial but I doubt that this huge development is good for Grand Cayman at this time maybe the Brac will prove a better option.


  14. Anonymous says:

    All you have to do Mac is lower the fees we professionals pay every year. This country is built on Finance and Tourism, and we already know the tourist product has priced itself out of the market…just try Tiki Bar at $8CI for a beer…if I and my company are going to jump from $7,500 to $15,500 per year per person to have the "priviledge" of working here, we will seek other blue waters. Imagine the damage if say 5 people at these levels leave…it’s not the $75k lost it’s the collateral damage to the Island in terms of revenues spent by these 5 people…oh well, some get it…I would suggest you send the committee around door to door and conduct a survey on what exisiting business would like to see…at least start in your own back yard.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am sure that our premier is doing the best that he can but to lower the price would be criminal.  Maybe the Tiki Bar can afford to sell their beers for less and pass on the saving to you. You can always try to find it cheaper to conduct business in Bermuda or BVI, both are British and doing very well with their tourism and financial services.

      • Voice of Reason says:

        That’s a BRILLIANT solution Jacko(xx), tell the remaining Cayman businesses to xxxx off to another jurisdiction…  Isn’t that, um, the very thing we are trying to stop from happening??

        Is this the best brains of Cayman at work?

    • DMA says:

      AGREED 100%. We are the next company closing up shop this year. Our clients take come with us of course. Sorry, for no more volunteer work and adding a few more Caymanians to the unemployment stats. It just does not make sense to conduct business here anymore.

  15. Anonymous says:

    They’ve got a tough job to attract any new business. Retaining the current business is going to be difficult enough. A lot of work permits are being rejected lately for senior staff meaning that these companies have to now suffer either not having enough staff or having to employ second rate unqualified locals.

    Couple that with the massive fee hikes and government corruption and red tape and it is pretty obvious why companies are starting to flee.

    And yes I’m sure the plane door will hit every one of them on the backside on the way out. But they won’t mind because they’ll be feeling the satisfaction of knowing that all those people that detested them so much in the time they were here got their own way, but soon they’ll be jobless, homeless, carless and lawless (ok, so they were already lawless).

    Hopefully the demand for fish and rope will be enough to keep Cayman going once they have finally bitten off the hand that feeds them.

    • Anonymous says:

      I really am confused and have to keep picking my brain trying to figure out why some of you expats continue to live here when it seems you are so ‘detested’ in this Country.  Surely your life would be more fulfilling, peaceful and happy elsewhere? Please…just get over yourselves!