Cayman flops in key rankings

| 02/09/2011

(CNS): The Cayman Islands ranks nowhere in the region when it comes to business friendliness, best economic potential, best infrastructure or best human resources, according to the Financial Times’ fDi Intelligence division’s most recent Foreign & Direct Investment (FDI) ‘Countries of the Future’ rankings report. The islands could only manage third place in just one area: Best Quality of Life, behind the British Virgin Islands, placed first, and Bermuda second.  The Cayman Chamber of Commerce described the poor showing asa wake-up call for Cayman, saying the jurisdiction had to become more attractive.

President James O’Neill said it was unclear why this jurisdiction was only ranked in one category on the list but Cayman may not have provided the FT with sufficient data.

“Nevertheless, the rankings should be considered a wake-up call to us all. We must become more innovative, competitive and attractive to the local and international business and investment communities,” he said.

“We must become more aggressive in our approaches to become business friendly by reviewing our fees and structures to ensure that we are competitive with other countries in the region and around the world. We have become complacent and it is time to use this report as the tipping point for change. We encourage everyone to become involved in the Future of Cayman economic development initiative so that we can all play our part to make the Cayman Islands the best place to live and conduct business.”

In the survey Cayman ranked joint second for the highest GDP per capita for 2010, behind Bermuda and alongside the US Virgin Islands, but was not listed in any other category.
The 'FDI Caribbean & Central American Countries of the Future 2011/2012' report placed Costa Rica in overall first place as the top country of the future in the region, followed by Dominican Republic in secondplace, Trinidad and Tobago in third, Barbados in fourth and Panama fifth.

The report states that Costa Rica’s dominance in this year’s ranking is no surprise given its successful record in attracting FDI into the country. According to fDi Markets (the FT’s online database tracking system), Costa Rica has been the number one destination country in the region in terms of FDI project numbers since 2003, attracting a total of 227 FDI projects between 2003 and 2010.

Costa Rica came second in the Best Economic Potential category (Panama came top); followed by Turks & Caicos in third place, while Panama was voted Best for Infrastructure, followed by Antigua & Barbuda and then Puerto Rico. The Best Business Friendliness ranking went to Puerto Rico, followed by Costa Rica, Guadeloupe, Panama and then Saint Lucia.

Panama, although only ranked fifth in the overall top country ranking, was seen as a rising star, according to the report, so far this year attracting more FDI projects into its country than Costa Rica and therefore attaining the ranking of number one country with the Best Economic Potential.

Cayman’s closest neighbour, Jamaica, faired moderately well, placing fifth in the Best Infrastructure category, fourth Best Country for FDI Strategy and tenth for Best Human Resources. Bermuda is often identified as Cayman’s closest financial services industry competitor, and was generally better positioned than Cayman, ranking fourth for Best Economic Potential, sixth for Best Infrastructure, second for Best Quality of Life, top for highest GDP per capita for 2010 and also top for highest internet usage per capita.

Dax Basdeo, Chief Officer with the finance ministry believes that Cayman did pretty well, considering the Islands were not able to supply the panel of judges with specific data.

“Our number three placement in the Best Quality of Life category was positive news as this position was awarded without our active participation in the process,” he says. “While we were approached and invited to submit country details, the deadline set was unattainable given the amount of data collection necessary and our current staff capacity limitations.”

Judges who made up the selection panel included Alfredo Coutiño, director, Latin America, Moody’s Analytics; John Bowers, owner, Bowers Consulting and Jacqueline Walls, senior investment analyst, fDi Intelligence. Judging criteria on economic potential included such factors as population and population growth rate,unemployment rate, GDP growth, labour force, number of inward and outward FDI projects and the number of ‘mega’ FDI projects by capital and by jobs.

In judging the human resources rankings for each country, the panel took into consideration the labour force, literacy rate, number of universities, secondary and tertiary enrolment rates, the number of International Baccalaureate schools and education expenditure.

FDI promotion strategies were assessed by a country’s number of staff dedicated to promoting and facilitating inward investment, systems or programmes in place to train staff and measure performance, key initiatives implemented to attract more investment, incentives available to inward investors and major infrastructure and urban planning.

See report below

Category: Business

Comments (115)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Last night I saw a TV show where the off shore money was being hidden in Bermuda. Now I know it's over for us. Cayman is now losing it's top position in the "hidden money" category.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wow this is crazy…the Chief Officer comments are so simple…when would we wake up…this does not seem to be an important exercise…they just did not bother…I know there are some smart people working at DCI so I am lost as to why they could not have these questions completed…

  3. Anonymous says:

    Wake up Cayman! This is the price we are all paying for Mac's political ambition.  He promoted unqualifed individuals into positions that they are clearly unable to cope with and as a result our country suffers. Additionally, these individuals know that their promotion was based on political ground and therefore only act in the interest of the politican who promoted them  rather than in the overall best interest of the country.  To add insult to injury, Mac threw out the institutional memory of the CS by removing those (such as Deborah Drummond0  who could have offered some guidance.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Reading some of the comments above, I will be not surprised if our rankings continue to get worse.

    Only when we except our faults, can we take remedial measures.

    Like many of our parents, might have to seek employment abroad to put food on our table. My only wish is that I will not get treated badly as a foreignor as some of my fellow Caymanians treat and comment them

  5. Anonymous says:

    How timely..  I'm a ten year resident here, and just got the worst most unpleasant Saturday morning run-around for no other reason than "she could" from the weekend customs supervisor at the Inland Customs port.  She was just unnecessarily unhelpful, combative — and her insistence on bruskness and unnecessary non-comonsensical "attention to detail" (read: designed to cause me difficulty), made the whole experience difficult and unpleasant.

    I will be filing a formal complaint against her on Monday.  First time in ten years I've had to do something like this anywhere on island.

    But this is symptomatic of the anti-business "can't do" philosophy which seems to be spoken to in this report.  Not certain why it has to be that way.  It genuinely saddens me for the Islands.  We need to bring back service with a smile.. and civil servants who remember that they work to serve the public – not fight them.

    • Pit Bull says:

      Welcome to the ""this is my island" small-islander "because I can"" smack down. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank goodness Pit Bull is still alive and well and posting. I haven't seen any "in the longest while".

        • Anonymous says:

          Pit Bull's only contribution to this site is to tell us that Cayman is not a country, nation etc. and generally to make snide comments about Caymanians. It is sad that that receives so much appreciation from you.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s a shame but customs in cayman are notorious for their rudeness and unhelpfulness

    • Anonymous says:

      Welcome to the club.  Try being on a work permit sometime.  Very third world experiance.  Caymans contribution to the world.

    • Anonymous says:

      When small minds get entrusted with lots of power because of their job position, it flies to their heads and they become full of their own self-importance and give people a hard time or lord it over them "just because they can".   They must have an inferiority complex if they feel they have to behave this way.  Sometimes their actions are very subjective – if they know you or like how you look, they don't bother you, but if for some reason they take a disliking to you, be prepared for rough handling and rudeness.  When an officer calls out "next in line" and I go up to them, I always greet them with a cheerful smile and "good morning" or "good afternoon".  I am lucky if they bother to look up from their computer and greet me likewise or even smile.  The male officers tend to respond a bit better, but the female officers, forget it – they always seem to be having a bad day and take it out on you.  They remind me of the Gestapo that used to terrorize Germany – such is their manner, very brusque and stone-faced.  They badly need some training in how to greet visitors and returning residents and understand that ultimately each of us pay their salaries and benefits.  They have a job to do, we all know this, but they can do it with professionalism, courtesy and respect, and yes, a welcoming smile too.   Every time I go back to my homeland (Jamaica) for a visit, the immigration officers there welcome me with a broad smile "Welcome back home, Ma'am, and please enjoy your stay".   Cayman immigration officers and customs agents can take a leaf out of their book and learn something from them, when it comes to welcoming people to your shores.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The problem is that Dax can have as many staff members as money can buy but he doesn't know what is important from what is not. 

    • Anonymous says:

      This is a disgrace and evidence of a chief of a department dropping the ball.  …. and to use the excuse of short resources is inexcusable.

      But then again, the non-chalant response is evidence that we are not ready, and will continue down the path of a third world country……Civil servants need a shake up—-from business to tourism, evidence of our inability to serve and provide what our customers want, service and respect, will continue to keep us down.

       

  7. Anonymous says:

    I'm sure Deborah Drummond would have realised the importance of filling in the information requested.  The price we all pay for Mac cutting off the heads of key CS.

  8. longtermresident says:

    Just three short stories that capture the frustration of doing business in Cayman:

    1. A few months ago my wife wanted to renew her international driving license as we were traveling overseas.

    She went to the downtown office and was sent to Walkers Rd, who told her they were out of the green cards licenses. She was then sent elsewhere, where she was told that no office on the island had the blank licenses as they had run out. Of course, each time she had to stand in line for 20-30 minutes.

    In their own homes do these people wait to use the last sheet of toilet paper before going to buy another roll? How hard would it be to look in the box of forms, see they were down to the last 100 and order more then?

    2. Also at the DMV. She went to the West Bay office to renew her Cayman license. There were supervisors in the back. One person taking renewal applications, the person next to her had nothing to do as she was only there to take photos. And would not help reduce the line.

    She was next to be served when the young lady turned off her computer, went in the back and came out in her street clothes to go home. Now there was NO ONE helping customers renew licenses. Supervisors did nothing.

    About 15 minutes later another young lady arrived, late. Went into the back to change then came back, started computer. total time in line; over an hour.

    3. We had paid off our mortgage and got a release from the bank. We took it down to the Recording Dept. downtown. They told me that we needed to pay several hundred dollars for recording stamps, which we had to get from the post office. Could not just pay them. So we went to the post office, got them and returned and left them the forms.

    A couple of days later we returned to pick up the recorded documents, to be told that we had bought them to the wrong place. We needed to go to lands and Survey on Eastern Ave and they were already closed for the day (4pm). Surely the recording dept. could have told us this the first time.

    So the next day we went to Lands and Survey, with the forms and the stamps. To be told that the documents were too old, more than 60 days, and we either had to get new documents or pay a fine. (Whyshould the age of the documents make a difference?)

    So we went to the bank and they issued us with new documents and we finally were able to return to Lands and Survey and get the Mortgage Releases recorded. Wow!

     

    • Anonymous says:

      This is not news.  This is everyday in Cayman stuff.  The fact that a report has come out to show Caymans dismal at best standards is nothing of news to anyone who has had to do ANY business that requires a Civil servant (read employed unemployable) can attest to that.

  9. AnonymousSick and Tired of the B...S... says:

    It is inconceivable that a Chief Officer in the Ministry of Beloved Leader would openly admit that they were unable to complete the Financial Times questionnaires because they did not have sufficient time, nor the Human Resources – as a previous correspondent asked – “why were all the other countries able to respond in time”. Whatever the problems, this should have been a situation where you got every arse possible into the office, and nobody went home until the job was done. Cayman has completely lost the plot, and is probably already the laughing stock of it’s competitors, and the Global financial community generally. I hope Beloved Leader is not anticipating the erection, in Heroes’ Square, of a statue to commemorate his Premiership. Apart from the fact that it might be difficult to find that much bronze, it would only be appropriate if he was wearing a Jester’s hat.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Maybe it's time to institute a curfew. All minors (under 18 years old) cannot go outside after 10PM.

    There will be many arguments against this but it does work somewhat in large cities. If more is needed then go the next step and declare Marshall Law.

     

     

     

     

  11. Peter Simple says:

    Are you surprised, I am not! Ever since we got message taking on our telephones it is virtually impossible to get a direct answer from most government offices althoughthe private sector is a bit better.

    A while back when the local passport office was still handling British Passports I phoned them for some information; I am still waiting for an answer to my call!

    The following day being desperate for an answer for a client I phoned Liverpool and the answer was almost instantanious; a very pleasent voice answered the phone, told me that if i told him my requirements he would point my call in the fright direction, which hedid and in 5 minutes I had my reply!

    Incidentally i am still waiting for the local passport office to reply!!! I guess the answer is we no longer deal with British Passports.

  12. Gold Digger says:

    If it wasn't for the easy money there really would be very little positive to say about living here.

    • Anonymous says:

      The easy money is long gone, so kindly do us a big favour and leave there is nothing positive for you to hang around here for, again please leave don't wait for your rollover.  With what little dignity you have, please leave, we don't need or want you here with that attitude.

  13. R.U. Kiddin says:

    Well I'll be dog-goned!  Who would have thought that we would have wound up in THIRD  place?  Hey…. third ain't bad when you consider how many other places are in competition.  Besides, I don't want to be first in all those "good" things, because I don't think they are really good for us.  I don't want the increase in crime, the increase in traffic, the increase in hotels, bars, and restaurants, etc.  I don't want to live in those places that were the "winners"!  Do you?  If you don't like the Cayman Islands, GO SOMEWHERE ELSE!

  14. Anonymous says:

    How could we get a high rating when 60/40 %  fronting continues. would you as a caymanian go into buisness  in a forigin country investing 100% and having no controle? globalization free trade ? are we ready?

  15. Anonymous says:

    "“While we were approached and invited to submit country details, the deadline set was unattainable given the amount of data collection necessary and our current staff capacity limitations.”

    Translation: We are too lazy to even bother, regardless if it is important or not.

    • Stiffed-Necked Fool says:

      When my football team get bad results, we change our leader.

      These are very bad results for the Cayman Islands, so change our leader!

  16. ANON says:

     Bush as the minister of finance is like giving a child a gun

  17. Anonymous says:

    Ask them next time to put in a lazyness catagory so we can be first in something.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Whilst there is simply no excuse for the lack of response on behalf of theCayman Islands, and someone should be held accountable, I do have to wonder about the accuracy of the rankings overall, I mean, Antigua & Barbuda runner up for Best for Infrastructure…you have got to be kidding me! 

    • The Original Anon says:

      Not really, Whilst- One of two things happened:  the request for information ended up in the circular file or somebody decided that the accurate statistics were nobody's business.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is an excuse.  It is employ Caymanians over competent.  This is and has been the most important thing here for so long it is a way of life.  There are only a few out of many CIG intities that can put out meaningful work.  To employ a skilled expat over an onskilled and unmotivated Caymanian is a crime here.  And its haveing the expected results.  But its is still more important then getting anyone to do the job they are paid for.  Including the Premeir.  This is what Cayman wants and what it wil have to the bitter end.

      • Anonymous says:

        To Anon 9:28 – Maybe you should research that amount of onskilled laborers as opposed to unskilled and see what results you get….type it into Google even…

        Ignorance has your ‘onskilled’ self unable to use spell check.  If Caymanians (I am referring to born full Caymanians or of mixed Caymanian heritage, not holder of any provisions or rights to work) were not given preference to work in the islands of their birth, where would they go? To be an expat in some other country? If you believe that the Cayman Islands is the only place in world that gives preference to their local population you might want to use Google to conduct a few more searches….

         

      • Anonymous says:

        Judging by the quality of your post I would have to doubt your competence in anything involving literacy. 

        This is not a meaningful or grammatically correct sentence: "It is employ Caymanians over competent".

        This is a garbled phrase: "But its is still more important then getting…"

        These words are misspelled in your post: "intities", "onskilled", "haveing", "Premeir", "wil".

         

        Too often there is the assumption that Caymanian means incompetence, and expat means competence.

         

        • Anonymous says:

          I can only guess that the poster was or could be an new Caymanian.  May be, someone who speaks a foreign language.

        • Anonymous says:

          And of course the spelling and gramer are much more important than the meaning of the worlds.

          To you.

          For obvious reasons.

          I would easily imagine its just like trying to understand a Caymanian talking.  But I would still not judge his/her competence by my ability to understand the pronounciation problem.  It is easy however to see incompetence in action with no need to assume anything.  Look around you.

    • Anonymous says:

      Antigua & Barbuda,  runnner up in infrastructure, now that is a statement to ponder but maybe the present infrastructure is now better than my last visit, when the roads were full of pot holes however, the scenery was extremely beautiful. I can only assume that long term infrastructural planning is what the writer speaks about, albiet  Cayman's excellent infrastructure it will be inefficient in less than  5 years if the population continues to increase at its present rate.  The dump is inefficient, our roads althought excellent is also inefficient, I will not even bother to mention our schools, hospital, facilities for our senior citizens and other social projects. 

      • Common Sense says:

        Uh…the population is actually falling, not growing – so we shouldn't have a problem.

        • Anonymous says:

          Uh… It is probably actually growing, but thanks to dependents of status recipients etc, rather than persons coming here to work. Welfare state here we come.

  19. The KING of West Bay says:

    Hear me loud and clear…once and for ALL…"WE'Z BROKE!!

  20. Hurricane Season says:

    Stop putting foreigners up front and that will change.  Back in the day it was different.  You had good reports about hotel and restaurant staff every where.  Now there are no Caymanians to say how are you today, and can tell you  were is the Post office.  The people working in the fore front is not Caymanians, and if you ask them for Bulla they give you chees.  What then do you expect?

    • Anonymous says:

      Show me one caymanian that has applied for these jobs ? By law, all they have to do is get off their lazy asses and make an application.

      • Anonymous says:

        At what rate of pay US$4.50?

        Caymanians earned that wage in the 1960's!

        Caymanians were not laze when they built the tourism industry but Caymanians sold out Caymanians and allowe foreign people to take over our Islands to push us out of the picture.

        Improve pay in hotels then Caymanians will return to tourism work.  When Caymanians are expected to work at Philipino, Jamaican, Honduras rates of pay then they will never be part of that workforce. 

        Caymanians are not valued by Caymanians in their country anymore and that is the real loss to our society and culture, contributing to crime and social unrest.

        Empty hotels can not pay living wages, but our government believes that constructing more hotels is the answer.  Only a few contractors employing foreign workers will benefit – NOT CAYMANIANS OR THE CAYMAN ISLANDS.

        Mimimum wage is necessary, it would help but not cure the problems.

        • Caribitz says:

          So if you want Caymanians to make a liveable wage, say $10-$12 per hour instead of $4.50, the cost of lodging is going to have to go up by say 25% to pay those costs.  That makes those accomodations even more expensive, so then the number of guests decreases.  Then there are less people flying to Cayman, and going on tours or out to restaurants.  Then the amount of food products is decreased which causes a decrease in duty and jobs for Caymanians in other affected service industries.  Cayman was third in Quality of Life.  As long as there is such a significant gap between the classes here (rich Caymanian business owners and poverty-stricken families living in the bush scraping to get by), and if the Caymanian middle class refuses to give up their SUVs and envy to be equal to the richest first-world countries, then this problem cannot be solved. 

          There needs to be a country-wide discussion of where Cayman should be in 10, 20 or 50 years.  Then a plan needs to be developed with ALL stakeholders to determine how decisions made now (such as closing West Bay Road in order to provide a very short-term boost to the local economy – jobs) affect that long term plan.  Yes, something needs to be done now to help those who are hungry or losing their homes, but the action should be taken in the context of long-term planning.  Caymanians should be more realistic, lower their aspirations, pray less and do more, and then with the help of a long-term vision, a proper decision about increasingminimum wages can be made.

        • A Concerned Caymanian says:

          With all due respects, my fellow Caymanians, I stand with this individual on the level of pay in the tourism industry.

           

          But, before I go farther, you may remember me from my prevous comment (FIrst line started as follows: With all due respects, my fellow Caymanians, this course of action is wrong – period. We really need to discuss the real problems that this country face and find real solutions to solve them. – http://centos6-httpd22-php56-mysql55.installer.magneticone.com/o_belozerov/31115drupal622/headline-news/2010/02/10/million-dollar-residency#comment-53743). Not to boost or big up myself but to inform you, when I made this post, I was a senior employee in the banking system and have since left; today, I am a businessman with businesses in and out of Cayman. Now, the only reason I tell you this is because I want you to understand that I have NO political interests nor could I careless about it other than using the system – My concern lies with voicing the truth with my Caymanian people for unity; and if I can convince just one Caymanian to take the torch of unity, I can close my eyes one day and enjoy my rest 6 feet in my grave, knowing that we Caymanians still had a chance for unity AND taking Cayman back!

           

          That said, let us pull the cob webs out about this issue of pay – obviously, there are always two sides to an argument to be sure; however, I will do my best to summaries both main sides (employee / employer) and leave the rest to you to consider.

           

          Again, another point I think I should make before I go any further; You can say that I am a semi-retired professional going to 40 years of age who has some wealth – I have perhaps a net worth of a few million U.S. dollars  (mainly, in real estate rental assets and businesses totally financed without loans and owned outright – No inheritance – from family or anyone – here at all!) that I built on during my working time, while I worked my way up the ladder (how I built the wealth? If you like reading than lock yourself into a book – and other books by this author – called Rich dad poor dad – my knowledge came from tormenting a wealthy foreigner on the island for years with 100s of questions about how wealth is built and it wasn't til 5 years ago I discovered the rich dads books and similar resources for weath creation and business sense), and I only spent 10 years in banking and the remainder in Government over a period of almost 23 years and, yes, I was still able to finance my education to bachelor level overseas,myself, during this period – again, this is just to give you some idea when I talk with you, my point of view (or roughly translated: where I am coming from!), and I hope you will embrace these thoughts as coming indeed from a Caymanian fighting for Caymanians for UNITY!

           

          That said, let's start with the employer (business owners or shareholders) and determine their constraints. The tourism industry is definitely looking bleak for Cayman today (Cayman isn't alone by the way) and for the employer that means less income and more expense as they began to adjust and spend more money on advertising and/or doing any new kinds of marketing promotions to reclaim this missing income – ofcourse, the businessman will not use his or her own money from his own pocket or other external business sources that he or she owns – every one of their business MUST stand on their own and finance their own business activities including in Cayman and, as such,  they will have to let people go (roughtly translated: people WILL get laid off) and cut back spending in other areas (it's a delicate balance between the business's income and their expenses) because wages and salaries are always a big burden to a business apart from their rents and loan expenses. Ofcourse, this applies not just to tourism industry, but all other industries in Cayman that have experienced a direct impact by this current recession and I do know that government is not help this situation either.

           

          Not to get off the subject and besides the fact that government can careless about feeding data to important rating agencies that can potential impact the economy further, but I hope one day the government will realise that they are not here to torment the legs of businesses that support them by insisting that they pay fees on time every month and, for some reason, should NEVER have a problem paying their business trade license fees; for some strange reason, government thinks that these fees are two cents or cost very little – government should  now be giving concessions, period, for these fees so businesses can re-adjust to these times – but instead government just wants to charge their interests and threaten business owners with jail time; government should know better (by the way, this is not just happen in Cayman alone) – that in these recessionary times, income WILL slows down and that businesses WILL have LESS money to spend in this ecoonomy (it is happening all over the world – but "ignorance is bliss" for government and they are only interested in lining their pockets and looking petty; Who cares about balancing the budget and making sure that the government runs efficiently so that for every million dollar project they do, they have identified a revenue stream other than taxes or fees to the local economy they operate in!

           

          Now, these employers really did not have this problem back in the 80s or 90s in Cayman as things were blooming or booming. And I am quite sure though memory isn't my strong point (correct me if I am wrong) that the same wages paid to employees (less than $5 an hour in some cases too!) back then is still paid today – sure, tag on a little cost of living increase on that if you are lucky (which is really like bank interest for a year, where inflation alone will render it value less because each year our cost of living went up and up by folds! (I really think that it went up by the month but that's just me).

           

          Sure, I must confess, my business colleagues are taking advantage of you the employee and in our estimation, once you agree to the salary, that should be fair; however, I do not totally subscribe to that thought, because if I see my employees doing a good job they can be sure to get bonuses and a raise in pay every year and, that is, on top of the cost of living – my East End roots run too deep and keeps me on the straight path of ethics to make sure I threat others fair but that's me and I can bet any money that my business colleagues are NOT ethical about it  – although, I can understand their plead, that nobody will side with them if their business runs a ground so why should they side with anybody.

           

          Anyway, fast forward to today, these same tourism employees are really still making the same money and they are actually still able to live in Cayman. Up to this day, I am just not sure how they can live on that pay – please someone 'spill the beans' for me. I personally know many of them and I can clearly see what they are doing – 5 or 6 people sharing an apartment or living in the deepest swamp where rent is still $150 to $200 dollars a month and they are NOT just Phillipinos either. But these people just seem so happy to have made some kind of earnings (I guess it is due to the fact that once they are able to send any fraction of it to their home lands, then it probably multiples massively for their families over there) Yes, these small incomes might look like table scrapes to us, but for the people that earn it, they go home feeling a piece of mine that they did an honest day's pay for an honest day's labor. And to shed some interesting light on top of that, when these foreigners return home having been rolled over or what ever, they have become wealthy in their part of the world, due most times to cheaper cost of living in their countries and, eventually, they understand that business is the money making machine that makes life work and they set them up and built their homes during the time here in Cayman.

           

          (By the way, don't ask me to point this in the viewpoint section on this web site, my last article did not meet that requirements to be put there, so be happy you can read it here!)

           

          So, how does a Caymanian live with this low wage, or better yet how does anyone, including government, expect anyone to live off that wage. Cayman has NO consumer protection or regulated rental rates. As a consequence, I can not blame my fellow Caymanians for staying out of this or other similar industries that just want to take them as slaves because that is what that pay is trying to do. I mean just how many hours do you thing they will need to work to just pay rent alone, much less food for the family, gas for the car, and utilities….it may be just me, but it just seems like slavery! And I dear any politician to try to justify it for Cayman.

           

          That said, my fellow Caymanians, we have voiced our concerns and I realised from a lot of them I hear on the radio that we KNOW there is a problem BUT we just do not know how to deal with it and, more importantly, WE do not know how to help our children fight this fight. We realised now that no job is secure anymore, anywhere in the world we go, and we wished we could give you the tools you need to built your own business (all you need, by the way, is good quality customer keeping skills and to go out and establish your customers today – grow the money until you can afford an office rent and then the rest is history; don't wait til you are layed off tomorrow or want to look for a new job and can not find any!).; this new landscape of economy in Cayman (like the rest of the world!) is for life long learners who are open minded and willing to opening their own business (or just buy real estate for passive income from just collecting rents) and match forward together in unity – each one of our families (our kids and our parents – they may never say it AND will deny it to you, if asked) are DEPENDING on us to learn this very important point; so do not play with this time, because we only get one chance at this life, so let's make it a good one!

        • Anonymous says:

          whats better $4.50 an hour or $0 per hour?

          your sense of self entitlement is sickening

      • Fish Pot says:

        09:06  Fish Pot try hush because you  can catch lobster in your pot at nights while the poor Caymanians get arrested for catching sprats in the daylight.  You really dont get it do you.

      • Anonymous says:

        If only that were truer. I personally know of numerous Caymanians who have applied for jobs, who had all the skills, attitudes, and competences required, and were not even selected for interview. Don’t believe me? Ask immigration – but when they try to enforce the law the politicians seem to step in.

        • Anonymous says:

          Thank you! It is high time sometime for someone to speak the truth about this.

    • Anonymous says:

      Right!  The more skill that is motivated to leave the better Cayman gets.  Right?  Explains everything.

    • Anonymous says:

      The categories listed in the article were business friendliness (as in, regulatory friendliness, not face-to-face friendliness), infrastructure, human resources, economic potential and quality of living.  How does putting foreigners in service positions figure into it?  And what is chees??

    • Ubelievedat says:

      A Trillion thumbs – up!!!!

      You hit one of the nails firmly on the head!!!!!!!!!

      • CAYMANIAN TO THE BONE says:

        You enjoyed" Yellow Bird up in Banana Tree" enough, that you are still here though,!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I was there back in the day ('70's). The local restaurant and hotel workers were uniformly abrupt and unhelpful. We just chalked it up to "a cultural thing." It is vastly better now having 20-somethings from somewhere else doing those jobs.

  21. Anonymous says:

    "Our number three placement in the Best Quality of Life, behind the British Virgin Islands, placed first, and Bermuda second".

    I really would not worry about these rankings. BVI is decades behind Cayman in terms of amenities.Cayman is cilvisation by comparison. The people who have lived in both places that I know definitely prefer Cayman.

    As for Bermuda, you have to spend a fortune to get a decent place to live and the crime and corruption situations are no better. They confuse stuffiness with sophistication. 

    • Scottish,Irish,Jamacian born CAYMANIAN says:

      That is the same STINKING attitude "I really would not worry about these ratings" that has or country in the predicitment that we are now in…… "COMPLACENCY" …… 

       You either have made all the money you needed now, have some other country (namely the one you are from) to go back to OR you have another country to XXX after you get all you can get (while keeping the PASSIVE LOCALS passified with your foolish chatter long enough that you can make sure its ran into the ground as a country) OR you are CAYMANIAN with your head still stuck in the sands of time and allowing OTHERS to do your work and walk over you as so many of us were encouragerd to do back in the day and did!……while the FOREIGNER came ,found and conquered our culture, our land and our wealth……….

      GET OUT!……… or ………WAKE UP CAYMAN "I really would not worry about these ratings" type of mentality can no longer be tolerated in our ISLANDS

      CNS: Rape is a violent sexual act. It does not mean "take advantage of".

      • Boston Tea Party says:

        CNS – rape has a number of different meanings.  My dictionary, which isn't a particularly comprehensive one lists "rapine, seizure, plunder…. unlawful sexual conduct; v. To seize and carry off, to commit rape upon, to ravish or transport, as with delight"

        I suspect the commentor's use of the work was appropriate in his context, even though his sentiment to the OP was offensive.

      • Anonymous says:

        You have missed the point of my post. It was not to encourage complacency butrather to say that the rankings are not really an accurate reflection of reality. It is probably our fault in not supplying the necessary information why they are not accurate.

    • Anonymous says:

      to the person who said you know plenty of people who have lived in both Cayman (ranked no, 3 for quality of life) and the BVI (ranked 1) and they all prefer it in Cayman — are you serious ?  Yes, there are more amenities here in some regards, but substantially less natural beauty, places to visit, things to do and other things that go to make up quality of life. You ought to visit the place before making such statements. 

      I do agree about Bermuda though.

      • Anonymous says:

        As for you agreeing that Bermudians have an air of superiority which you envy get over it. They have all rights to be that way in their country (may I repeat) their country.  I am very sure if the laws were different in Bermuda most if not all of those expats that don't care for it would be right there trying to take over the same way that they are doing here in Cayman. 

        I say more power to Bermuda and Bermudians they most definately have the right to be sophisticated inwhatever way they choose especially in their fist world, most beautiful island in the Atlantic.  For all those who don't like Bermuda that is exactly what the Fox said when the grapes were out of his reach, "they are sour and worthless" just because he could not have them.  So to you haters of Bermuda I say get over it, that is why you are not in Bermuda because they don't want you there and you hate that fact.

         

      • Anonymous says:

        Things to do in BVI? Are you kidding? There is far more to do here. And it is also much easier to get off Cayman to visit anywhere else. Anyone who has visited BVI knows what I am saying is true.   

        • Anonymous says:

          Are you for real? you have never been to the BVI's becuase if you did you would know that Puerto Rico is 30 minutes away by DC-10 (small plane) and the USVI is 20 minutes away by ferry.  Both locations are very American as a matter of fact they are American so there are gateway flights to any place in the world from both locations. Far more to do here, really? you don't know about the world famous Bomba Shack, people come from all over the world to experience his full moon parties, and not to mention the world famous Foxy's New Years Eve boat party at Jost van Dyke.  You know absolutely nothing about the BVI, you probably went there for a visit to an office and never set foot outside your hotel door but to go to the office for a week.

          • Anonymous says:

            You are absolutely the only person I know who thinks that BVI has easy access to the outside world.  

            • Anonymous says:

              You are the only person who try to make people believe that you have been to the BVI's and have absolutely no idea of how to get there and the easy access it has to the outside world.  Let me explain again, the mainland of  PUERTO RICO a terrority of the USA is only 30 minutes away, flights from all over the USA and the world fly into Puerto Rico there are atleast 20 daily AA flight to and from Puerto Rico, again BVI is only 30 minutes away.  The USVI (i.e. the United States Virgin Islands and St. Johns is a ferry ride away.  Maybe the access you speak of and find hard from the BVI to the outside world is Junk Food, yes you will find access to junk food very hard but then again KFC, Burger King and Wendy's is only 30 mins away in Puerto Rico and a ferry ride away in the USVI.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not entirely true.  For those who have lived in BVI and Cayman, if you ask  the ones living in Cayman, they prefer Cayman.  but many live and prefer BVI.

      • Anonymous says:

        What the BVI lack in infrastructure they make up in natural beauty, island living and style not to mention long term planning.  For one BVI does not have a single fast food chain and most tourist love that. Absolutely no KFC, Burger King, Wendy's, and Pizza places.  After all Puerto Rico is only 30 mins away by plane and the USVI is a short ferry ride away.  The government and people of BVI is very smart to keep the fast food joints away.  As for cruise ships there is a minimun of 2 comfortable for visitors and citizens alike no congestion.

        The BVI is well on its way to becoming more like Bermuda and less like the Cayman Islands.  How is that for common sense?

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree that BVI is decades behind Cayman in terms of amenities and over development.  I would not go as far to say that Cayman is civilized and BVI is not.  BVI is probably at the same stage in development as Cayman was in 1980 to early 1990 and that was not a bad time for Cayman.  In my opinion that was the greatest decade in the Cayman Islands, we should have never developed beyond that stage.  BVI is a very beautiful island, with hills and beautiful beaches and a mecca for sailing, a vacationers paradise.   Still full of island charm, Bomba Shack is still the place to party, Little Dix Bay (originally owned & developed by Rockafella) in Virgin Gorda is still frequented by the rich and upper class, and not to mention Necker Island (owned by Richard Branson) only caters to the super rich (which cost about $35,000 per night in low season), that is where Prince Charles and Lady Di went for their honeymoon, and there are many other islands that are privately owned in BVI that  very few people in Cayman can afford to visit.  Bermuda is a very cultural and beautiful place, although grossly overpopulated it is very well maintained and managed.  It is very protective of its citizens and is one of the best run BDTC.  BVI and Bermuda both have excellent laws that protect their lands for future generations.  In BVI there is the No-Belonger Land Holding Licence (read for yourselves) http://www.orion-law.com/publications/non-belonger-land-holding-licence-amendments and we all know that it's almost impossible for a Non-Bermudian to own property or a car in Bermuda.  As for Bermudians confusing stuffiness with sophistication that is a matter of opinion, they have all right to confuse stuffiness for sophiistication in their own country as opposed to what many expats do when they come to Cayman from real ghettoes and turn up their noses at our low income areas that would make where they come from seem like a gated community somewhere on West Bay Road.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have lived in both the BVI and Cayman and have always preferred the BVI as a place to live even though the pay I earned in Cayman was better.

      • Anonymous says:

        Why? The hotels and restaurants are crappy and the infrastructure is relatively poor.  

  22. Anonymous says:

    “Our number three placement in the Best Quality of Life category was positive news as this position was awarded without our active participation in the process,” he says. “While we were approached and invited to submit country details, the deadline set was unattainable given the amount of data collection necessary and our current staff capacity limitations.”

    Dax, please be specific. When did the questionaire arrive? What day was it to be returned? How many questions were on it? Whose responsibility was it to answer the questions?

    We have a multi million dollar budget where we visit trade shows around the world to promote ourselves, yet no one took the time to answer a few questions to recieve some free publicity.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Quality of life pretty important, surely?

  24. Anonymous says:

    Didn't you all hear?!

    It's the PPM's fault. And guess what? it's their fault that December 21, 2012 it all comes to a crashing end.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Be ashamed Mr. Bush, be very ashamed.

    • Anonymous says:

      I'm not a supporter of Bush. Far from it. But you are sadly mistaken if you think this is a one party problem. Worse, you are contributing to our problems by pushing one party's agenda. You are, in fact, creating division. 

      Our root problems are arrogance and under-qualification. Most of us don't even know the world is passing us by as we head in a downward spiral. We are partially deluded because we are coming from  so high. So delusional are we, that asone poster commented, many think our seamen created the financial industry.

      What we need (RIGHT NOW) is to get more qualified, business orientated, leaders. How can we expect people who cannot run a successful business to run a successful country? We are trying to make barracuda taste like lobster by electing the quality of people we do.

      One very basic Bible / Life principal is "do unto others as you would have them do onto you". We decided in 2004 to treat people as disposable. With great arrogance we stood up and shouted "For every one that leaves, ten more want to come." Apparently that's not the case, especially if one factors in quality of people. In return, higher powers are now treating us, and our country, as disposable. Man can write laws, but if they contravene God's laws, man will suffer. 

      I can quite confidently write, as I have been arguing since 2003 when many thought the law wouldn't even pass, that the rollover was the end of Cayman as we know it. Although not likely, I hope those who argued it was necessary so too many don't get on welfare are rethinking their math. More money can support more people. Less money, well hopefully you can now  figure it out. And for those who blame our woes on the Global economy as opposed to rollover, please explain why other islands are reporting progress in tourism, finance and foreign investment. 

      • Anonymous says:

        OK – so you are not a fan of rollover.

        Given we are only 100 square miles, our population (even since the introduction of rollover) has grown by more than 10,000, everyone who is here for 10 years will be able to stay forever, our education and social support systems are struggling/failing under an enormous relative influx of non Caymanians, and you refuse to pay more than 4 dollars an hour to your helper, what is your solution?

        • Anonymous says:

          Our population per square mile is 657 (assuming government stats are correct.) By comparison, some of our competitors are, Bermuda with 3,094, Singapore with 6,891 and Monaco with 15,921 per square mile. So apparently successful places can have more population per square mile. It may also explain why we have so many unrented units in Cayman. Indeed, many Caymanian landlords are suffering.

          Our education and social support systems CANNOT be struggling/failing because of non- Caymanians. This is propaganda. Non-Caymanians are NOT entitled to these benefits. The influx of students to public schools is because parents cannot afford to send their kids to private schools. No doubt one's CUC bill is contribution to this fact. 

          Regarding the $4 per helper. There needs to be a minimum wage. Only with fair wages will there be incentives for Caymanians to take jobs in fields such as tourism, construction, and non-skilled jobs. Right now we take advantage of foreigners at low rates, to the disadvantage of our own. Why would we do that? Because there are certain businessmen in the Chamber who personally benefit from paying low wages and controlling the staff. In addition, there would be many Caymanian mums, who could no longer afford to hire helpers. The politicians pander to these two groups. You don't want to mess with a Caymanian woman.  

          So my solution is that we, as a people, stop suffering from xenophobia, educate ourselves, make some tough political and economical decisions, before we go back to being a fishing village. 

          What are your solutions?

          • Anonymous says:

            …and only 40 years ago our population per square mile was only 100. As you drive us exponentially towards the population lava’s of Singapore and then on to gaza, what then? Or do you not see past your generation? Many Caymanian owned condos are indeed empty. That is not due to rollover – it is mainly due to the fact that about 7000 temporary workers who came here to help put humpty dumpy together again after Ivan, left. Their work was complete. Couple with that the fact that for the fist time landlords are owning large numbers of units and competing with the little guy on a commercial scale with the economies and advantage to tenants that entails, a global economic downturn, and an over – exhubarant post ivan re-build and you have the primary reasons so many condos are empty.

            You are simply wrong about foreign nationals in government schools. There are now many hundreds – including children of status recipients, and permanent residents. Some of these are temporarily Caymanian, but will lose that status automatically upon reaching 18. Social services is spending millions taking care of foreign nationals including for medical care for those whose employers are failing to provide insurance.

            Very few in the Chamber oppose a reasonable minimum wage. The opposition comes from smaller fly by night businesses (the same ones that do not pay pension or health insurance etc. ) and from households paying helpers $600/ month.

            You have not offered asolution to our long term viability. Mine is to have a safe functioning society where Caymanians have a sense of ownership and pride. Where foreign workers are welcomed. Where workers who bring particular skills and talent and fit in, are welcomed to remain forever and become Caymanian, and where others are thanked for their efforts and in a fair and transparent regime, required to leave for a year. My solution (which will remain only until someone comes up with an alternative workable option) is called rollover.

          • Anonymous says:

            You said "By comparison, some of our competitors are, Bermuda with 3,094, Singapore with 6,891 and Monaco with 15,921 per square mile. So apparently successful places can have more population per square mile".

            This is one dimensional thinking. You take into account only economic success but not the social impact of overcrowding. I for one would not want to live in Bermuda where it is so crowded that ordinary Bermudians cannot afford to own their own home and where you are restriced to one car per household.

            You also cannot compare countries like Singapore and Monaco which have had serious urban planning from the start. There would be total chaos in Cayman with those ratios.   

      • Cow Itch says:

        The only difference between the roll-over introduced in the 2003 Immigration Law is that it was finally apparent on the face of the statute and not an unwritten policy behind the Directive behind the Regulations behind the Law.

    • Anonymous says:

      21:44 you are really showing your ignorance

      • Anonymous says:

        Obviously not by the votes!  09:12, you are clearly out of touch with the members of this forum.

  26. Anonymous says:

    The real issue is not the ranking (or lack of) that we received, but the fact that "the Islands were not able to supply the panel of judges with specific data".

    It is most Interesting that all of the other jurisdictions mentioned were somehow able to provide the FT with the requisite data.  Clearly, our lack of ability to provide information about the Islands is a very bad indicator of the government's understanding of what is going on around them.

    The point is that Cayman can't keep trying to be competitive with other jurisdictions if we dont even know where we stand amongst ourselves.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Precisely the point, when I was in business in Cayman, I needed basic statistics on some issues, nothing was available despite these stats being submitted by each business on a quarterly basis. Even worse was the occasion when Cayman hired an eminent economist to prove a EU directive would kill our industry. The stats supplied to him were totally misleading and the message that we Cayman put out was treated with scorn by anyone that read it.

      It all seemed to me at the time that the people in the Stats office, and at the Financial Secretaries office were just too lazy to think about the issues involved and the importance of getting them right!

      Now of course, it is even worse, we have still not moved to an accounting system that tells the true story, (accruals versus cash) and we even pass a law to reduce the requirement for accounts. These things may be because nobody wants the truth to out, or cant be bothered, either is unacceptable in a jurisdiction that wants to be trusted as a financial centre. You get what you deserve!

  27. Doobles says:

    Why would anyone invest foreign money in a place with rampant corruption and discrimination in favour of selected local businessmen?

    • Anonymous says:

      This happens everywhere, not just Cayman.

      • Anonymous says:

        spoken like a true patriot.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not in Bermuda, not now, not ever, not in this generation or the next until the end of time.  Best in its class, top dog of destinations.  There will be no chicken foot red bean soup combo to change the sophistication of Bermuda who will have only the best.  They will keep their classic lentil, brie, cavier and champagne sophistication and superior attitude.  That is when a nation is aware of who they are and their importance.  Bermudians march to their own drums and could care less what others do or think.

    • Anonymous says:

      To be fair ….. The Cayman Islands arein the premier league of Third world countries, so lets have credit where credit is due.

      • Fish Pot says:

        07:44, I am almost ready to agree with you, but have to confess that you should ask yourself thesimple question Why?  It wasnt so 10 to 15 years ago.  So if you cooking chicken soup and then decide to fill it up with red beans, you then tell me what you see.  You see a Bean soup with chicken in it.  Lol.   Get the drift.

    • Anonymous says:

      "local businessmen"? LOL. There is rampant corruption in Bermuda and TCI as well.

    • Anonymous says:

      The same people who would invest in the USA, South and Central America, Asia, Europe, Africa and the rest of the world.  The kind of business people who are willing to take risks to make a profit after all isn't that what business is all about?  Welcome to the real world my friend there is corruption and discrimination in every cornor of this earth.  Welcome to the very real world and please take your head out of the sand.

  28. Anonymous says:

    thank you udp! hope you are enjoying cayman brac!…..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  29. Anonymous says:

    This 'madness' was happening before the current adminstration; and since both parties are mirrors of each other and what society appreciates, I don't expect any changes in the near future.

  30. Anonymous says:

    There is no excuse for not responding to the data request. This is about promotion of the country and that should have been a priority for the country’s inward investment agency. This should be part of what they do for a living. What do they do over there anyway?

    Very poor showing by cayman.

    • Married to a Caymanian says:

      JUST do your job!  We must have a dozen persons here employed to deal with Interntational Public Relations (Wait, that is right.  We have an entire $$$%&*^#  "Department!!!")  

      Gee, here is an idea….if you work for a PR department in our government, why not find out WHO in the publishing world does these kinds of lifestyle reports:  Financial Industry, Tourism Magazines, Cruise blogs, Airline Magazines *Oh, er, um, we "outsourced" our national carrier magazine to USA McClatchy!?!… but you get the point.  Someone should just be doing their well paid job and heads should roll in senior management that missed this one!  And how many others do we miss on a daily basis?

      Time to turn up the heat to our local PR people.  Get creative.  Wake up and get off of Facebook and start doing your jobs!

  31. Anonymous says:

    Some one in the CS filed these questionaires in the "circular file" next to the desk.  No surprise here.

  32. Anonymous says:

    I am not surprised with is news. Over the years , there has been a steady deterioation in our approach to people, especially foreignors coming here , whether for business, work  or even pleasure.

    A simple example when one arrives by air and tries going through customs and immigration is a unfriendly ordeal. In the years gone by, the officers manning those responsibility had always a smile and welcomed all people with respect. This seems to have been totally lost in those areas and it is mostly the younger officers . You could be lucky if you can get a quarter of a smile from them. Many a Caymanians are shown the same courtesy and the officers look at people as though they are doing them a favour.

    I must say there are occasions when the senior and older officers are around. They are very different in there approach to people.

    Now as we go to other departments and areas of Government, the experiences and lack of helpfulness goes on. There ineffiencies cost the government more for the service. this inturn forces the Government to increase fees to cover the cost of the services.

    In this competitive world, investors and business and look at other jurisdictions.

    Caymanians, just remember that we are not the sole provider of these services. So let us waker up and correct our shortfalls.

  33. Anonymous says:

    No surprise there. I am surprised they made the list at all. No surprise that the amount of time was not sufficient to collect the data needed even though all other countries were able to do it.  But then again that is what Cayman iss known for.   Not being able to do the job.  Time for a change?  Its up to Bush.

  34. tim ridley says:

    It would be very interesting to know to whom  the researchers addressed their questions and what responses they received. Did the enquiries end up in some one's drawer and get silence. Or perhaps, the enquirers got a response that the information requested was confidential and could not be disclosed!

    Much of the information should typically be available at the ESO (Statistics Office), but given the weakness of the data filed with that Office and the real push back from local businesses supplying meaningful data, it is not surprising the the FT report reflects poorly on Cayman. So I hope those who may complain about the unfairness of the Report are not the same people who tell the ESO where to get off when it asks for data.

     

    Tim Ridley

    • Fish Pot says:

      Sorry Tim, but if you can show me where the Caymanians are  then I can talk about the report.

    • B.B.L. Brown says:

      Good comment, Tim.  You wonder what happened to the enquiries?  I favor the wastecan theory.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Not surprising really under the current administration.  Cayman better be prepared to flop in many other rankings as a result of the madness that has prevailed these last couple of years, coupled with the significant rise in crime.

    • Anonymous says:

      Bull. Nothing to do with the "current administration". Cayman and Caymanians have been complacent ("We's the best/ furriners did nothing, our seamen set up the finacial industry etc etc") for far too long.

      • Anonymous says:

        or one of the highest murder rates per capita, the highest rate of incarcerated population in Jail and the highest amount of churches per square mile!

         

        Way to go!

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes you are so right about the highest murder rates per capita, unfortunately this is happening as a result of the mass status grant seven years ago.  The mass status grants by cabinet destroyed this country.

      • The real Cayman History says:

        Did Nothing?  Give us some credit:  We wiped out an entire turtle population, then moved onto the extinction of sharks, sponges, and guano (yes, bird guano was a lucrative industry, but our greed could not even keep us in sh**t .)    We are excellent at using up resources and then complaining that we have no business!  

        "How" do we present ourselves to our Tourist  and Finance trade?  Overcharging rude taxi drivers, unhelpful Immigration and Customs officers, uncaring beat-cops, and a high & mighty "can't touch this" attitude that permeates our entire local society.   I love to travel and wish oh wish I could relocate somewhere else, but I'm local and have a small local business.  In this economy I cannot sell my house to afford to move and start up again.  I'll remain one of the dying few, the local shop that offers a smile and engages my customers.  I continue to hope the next generation will examine the recent past and find a better future, but (here is my last two cents) not with the kind of politicians and governments that we have ALLOWED for the past decade.

        Apologies for the sour grapes, but if you were here twenty years ago, you'd be crying in your rum too.

        • B.B.L. Brown says:

          Cayman History, I read your comment and it makes me sad, because it's all too true.

  36. Anonymous says:

     This is really easy to figure out. Now let's hear all the excuses.

    • Anonymous says:

      LMAO LMAO does this not surprise you???? Of course not, here we go with the excuses.  Now it is in black and white for the world to see….how are you going to fix this one Mr. Premier????