Mac brings techy park law

| 09/09/2011

(CNS): Government has drawn up new legislation to facilitate the creation of special economic zones and fulfilpart of its commitment made in a memorandum of understanding it signed earlier this year with Cayman Enterprise City. The premier laid the Special Economic Zones Bill, 2011 on the table of the Legislative Assembly on Thursday evening, making it a public document. He said that the government would welcome comments on the proposed law over the next twenty-one days before the new bill comes up for debate later this month. He described the proposed law as an exciting development heralding in a third pillar for Cayman’s economy. (Bill attached below)

The law is as a result primarily of a deal the government entered into earlier this year with Cayman Enterprise City Ltd, a developer which proposes to create a science and technology park in an effort to attract modern industries to Cayman. The definitive agreement was approved by Cabinet and signed on 13 July and part of government’s obligations under the deal is to introduce a law allowing for special economic zones in general, and to provide specific incentives to Cayman Enterprise City Ltd.

Cabinet approved the bill on Tuesday, Bush told members of the Legislative Assembly, as well as the need for other amendments to legislation so government could meet its obligations under the MOU.

Government has already agreed to changes to the Immigration Law, the Companies Law, the Stamp Duty Law and the registered Lands Law to facilitate the Enterprise City, which  the developer says will focus on high tech and science related industries.

As he tabled the proposed bill, which offers a number of concessions to CEC, Bush said he would not go into specific details as he would save that for when the bill is expected to be debated later this month.

However, in broad terms the bill provides for the establishment, functions and powers of the Special Economic Zone Authority, designation of a Special Economic Zone and its Developer, and Issuing Zone Trade Certificates.

“This is an exciting and important project for the future of the Cayman Islands and speaks to the advent of what is potentially a new pillar of our economy to go along with financial services and tourism.  We are harnessing our economy and, indeed, the future opportunities of our people to the technologies and industries of the future,” Bush told his legislative colleagues.

The proposed development is being undertaken by Hon Development Company and is expected to encourage major IT, internet, bio-technology and other science based industries to relocate to Cayman as a result of special concessions granted in the ‘zone’, such as reduced work-permits and other fees.

So far, the developers have not revealed where the zone will be or who will be the first anchor tenant in any of the separate parks. The developers have, however, promised literally thousands of new jobs and potential training in new techy related fields for Caymanians.

The zone has received less political opposition than most of the other recent project proposals by government but the carving out of the zone has some in the offshore financial sector wondering why its industry has never been afforded the same concessions and a specialist economic zone created for businesess working in the financial services industry.

See Special Economic Zone bill here or attached below.

Category: Business

Comments (54)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    My Caymanian people,

    Will we ever advance with such a large amount of ignorance as is being displayed on this blog?

    Cayman has always welcomed foreign investors.  Get over it.  Think of all the succesful Caymanian business people who made their wealth by riding on the coattails of those foreigners.  Not saying they didnt work hard and use their brains, just saying that without the foreign investors there would have been no economy for the Caymanians to profit from.

    For goodnes sake if you're against CEC what the hell are you for?

    High paying, brain power jobs are being brought to our shores.  Okay maybe only ten percent of them will go to Caymanians (maybe more over time, but you have to actually give it time before passing judgement) but think of all the other opportunties for Caymanians!!!

    If you rent apartments, these foreigners will need a place to live.  If you sell groceries, these foreigners will need something to eat.  If you offer ofice supplies or adminstrative services, or maid services, or security services (God knows we all need security services nowadays), or pharmaceuticals, or clothes, or freight forwarding, or construction or FOR GOODNESS SAKE think of all the opportunity!!!!!

    I quit, you people just don't see it.  Makes me glad!  My litle business will thrive while you all sit and bitch about everything.

     

     

     

     

     

  2. Justin1972 says:

    Have many of the contributors to the blog been to a presentation by the developer? Maybe the developer needs to do more of them. I went to the first one in January and yes, I was doubtful. Then I did some research about some of the high-tech SEZs in Europe and Middle East. WOW – these things work if done properly. Im in financial services and we NEED these tech-types here. This is the most exciting project Cayman has seen and will put us miles ahead of anyone else in the Caribbean. Mac, I dont usually like what you do, but you got it right this time. Its time to save Cayman and this might just do it!

     

  3. Anonymous says:

    Stop it, Stop It now!!! Be be informed prior to making sweeping statements about CEC. This Government has done a sterling job in finding constructive and intelligent ways to aid the economic development of this country. We all should be proud of what Premier Bush and the Intelligent people over at CEC are trying to achieve. The reason this country is where it is today isnt because of bad politics its becasue of negativity. If we keep doing the same thing we get the same results and last time i checked this economy was in the toliet.

     

    Please turn attitude into gratitude ~ in order for this country to stand firm you simply have to be positive. CEC is a remarkable opportunity for all of us.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Already established business will leave the country, register as a foreign entity and come back as tenant of this high tech park.

    In this way they avoid fees and don't have to hire caymanians and therefor increase profits.

     

    I am amazed how one man can destroy a country in such a short time.

    I am even more amazed that the caymanians have let it happen.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I read the Bill. It looks pretty obvious given the way that it is drafted that what will happen is that if passed, Cabinet will give an exclusive deal to the party mentioned in the Schedule, thereby excluding Caymanians from participating in their own economy. Sadly I doubt that either the Opposition or the media will call the Premier on this.The power of placing adverts and threatening litigation seems to be what works.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The meat of what is going on is in the schedules to this law. The rest is just window dressing and camoflage.

    • Anonymous says:

      What is going on?  Stop throwing statements out there like you have some special knowledge. XXX Give me facts.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Everyone should read this bill and in particular the schedules to the bill. This bill represents the largest sell out in the history of these islands.

  8. Yo Mamma says:

    I'm confused, I thought Cayman was supposed to be against science. Why is McKeeva leading us astray once again?

     

    This will never happen anyhow. Just wait until Julianna Oconnor-Connolly-Conner hears about it. She will stop this foolishness in a hurry.

     

    If the Lord had wanted us to think about science and stuff like that he would not have blessed us with religion. This is playing with fire and I for one don't want to get burned.

     

    I think this zone should be dedicated to faith healing and prayer vigils. Now that would be good for Cayman!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Its so sad a good thing is happening and all we do is Complain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Not only is it perverse and wrong, but there is nothing in this proposed law to prevent people with free work permits to work in the technology park from 'free lancing' outside of the park!  This is blatant exploitation of our economic basis and structure!

    • Anonymous says:

      What is perverse and wrong?

      Creating jobs?

      Diversifying the economy?

      What are you a Communist?  Only that could explain your definiton of perverse.

      I've read the Law too, and didn't see anything about free work permits.  

      • Anonymous says:

        What do you mean you read the bill and did not see where the work permit fees are free?

        It's right there in black and white bobo. Please re-read Schedule 2.b.B

         

        SCHEDULE 2

        (Section 12(3))

        BENEFITS ACCRUING TO THE DEVELOPER OF CAYMAN ENTERPRISE

        CITY

        From the date of commencement of this Law, the developer and its subsidiaries

        in respect of Cayman Enterprise City shall –

        (a) be entitled to the benefits that would be applicable to a special

        economic zone enterprise under section 18 (as set out in

        Schedule 3);

        (b) be exempt from paying fees or other monies due or levied by or

        on behalf of the Government –

        (i) in respect of any matter in connection with fulfilling its

        obligations to establish, own, develop, operate, maintain,

        manage and administer Cayman Enterprise City except for –

        (A) stamp duties referred to in paragraph 1(g) of Schedule

        3, other than, for a period of three years, sums payable

        under the Land Holding Companies Share Transfer

        Tax Law (2007 Revision) in relation to any change in

        up to 40% of the shareholding in the developer or the

        development companies which are land holding

        companies holding property comprising the special

        economic zone,

        (B) work permit fees; and

        (C) duties on construction materials, which duty shall be a

        maximum of 15%; or

        (ii) arising pursuant to the Companies Law (2010 Revision);

        Customs Law (2010 Revision); Development and Planning

        Law (2010 Revision); Electricity Law (2008 Revision);

        Electronic Transactions Law (2003 Revision); Exempted

        Limited Partnership Law (2010 Revision); Government

        Fees Law (2007 Revision); Immigration Law (2010

        Revision); Plants (Importation and Exportation) Law (1997

        Revision); Public Management and Finance Law (2010

        Revision); Port Authority Law (1999 Revision); Private

        Security Services Law, 2007; Tax Collection Law (1998

        Revision); and Regulations made thereunder, in respect of

        • Anonymous says:

          it says developer wil be exempt from paying fees "except for" work permit fees (among other things).  learn to read!

          • Anonymous says:

            You need to go back to school and learn how to comprehend waht you read. Let melist it out for you real slow like.

            From the date of commencement of this Law, the developer and its subsidiaries
            in respect of Cayman Enterprise City shall –

            (b) be exempt from paying fees or other monies due or levied by or
            on behalf of the Government –

            (B) work permit fees; and

             

            I can't make it any clearer for you and there is no other way to twist this.

            The Developer and ALL Subsidiaries in respect of Cayman Enterprise City are entitled to these concessions.

            What don't you understand?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Way to go Hon. Premier, this will bring the investment and jobs that this country desperately needs.  Excellent move this is very good for the country on a whole, I support this well done.

  12. Shake Yours says:

    Can businesses in the park get round having to employ a weaker candidate for a job just because they are "qualified" and have a certain type of passport?

  13. Anonymous says:

    "As he tabled the proposed bill, which offers a number of concessions to CEC, Bush said he would not go into specific details as he would save that for when the bill is expected to be debated later this month."

    The people have the right to know all the details including the concessions.  And to know them now. To just see the bill and not the promised concessions is like having half the recipe.

    If Mac has something to hide, he will as long as he can.  If he has nothing to hide, then put it on the table now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It is a moral obligation that the Premier has to The people how hired him.  The people of the Cayman Islands.

    The more he holds back, the more I wonder if it is as good an idea as I originally thought.
     

  14. Anonymous says:

    Any business in the Tech Park will be exempt from having to pay work permit fees yet local businesses that create wealth within the community are being suffocated by high permit fees, this is perverse and wrong. Who drafted this law?

    • Kitty Cat says:

      What "local" business is "creating" wealth here??  Its all money from overseas baby! We just get the spilled milk and there will be alot of spilled milk with CEC.

       

      • Anonymous says:

        Every local business that pays high permit fees whose employees take home a salary creates wealth for those employees here and the work is done here, now the businesses in the Techy Park will do the work here but not pay permit fees-perverse and wrong. Why should businesses outside the park operate with an unfair tax burden? their cusomters may be from overseas just like those in the park but you don't appear to get it, would you mind elaborating on the supposed gallons of spilt milk? is it 1% whole skim or maybe none……what will the milk be? you mean the milk that will just go into the same fat cats stomachs. Be wary of the experts that put forward theories as wisdom which then turn out to be failed policies.

      • Anonymous says:

        You must be the cat from Alice in Wonderland if you believe that nonsense, keep smoking the sheesha…..

    • Anonymous says:

      The Bill gives Cabinet the right to create these zones – ask yourself who benefits.

  15. Anonymous says:

    One guess…"So far, the developers have not revealed where the zone will be or who will be the first anchor tenant in any of the separate parks."

     

    Exclusive rights to whose company or whose property, or who can sell them the property.  The madness never ends.  It seems that politicans should be bound to not partake in business dealings they write the law for.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Hold on, dont jump and shout yet, mac is involved

  17. Anonymous says:

    I have never been a UDP voter and lots of things could have been done better. But this is GREAT! UDP/PPM – thank you on behalf of all Caymanians

  18. Anonymous says:

    What concessions have been given to the local Caymanian IT businesses that are already trying to survive here?

    Brac Infomatics Centre provides a high degree of professional services and offers bunker style co-location DR services as well as Citrus Grove on Grand Cayman among many others. WIll they get incentives like guaranteed work permits and reduced fees and duty concessions in order to compete and provide the islands with IT services too?

     

    No, we'll save all of that for the foreigners and put them in a speacial zone who can't do local business but will charge high prices to off shore clientel on our shores while enjoying a non-competitive market because they don't have as high an overhead as the IT businesses already established here who could have provided the same thing.

    • Anonymous says:

      I know. . .it's absolutely scandelous isn't it.   Bush will sign off on anything that will make a few dollars for the government coffers without any real thought on how this will impact Caymanian owned businesses that have been the core of the local economy for decades.

    • Anonymous says:

      Has BIC applied to Cabinet for concessions?? just asking.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Its a fact of life that when one holds a position of authority, and your'e often right , sadly you will be criticised a lot. This is probably because people are jealous.

    In the political arena it is more than just petty jealousy. It is often vindictive and has nothing to do with the issue but retribution at every opportunity.

    Thesmaller the island the more the politricks.

  20. Anonymous says:

    The devil is in the detail folks. This is an exclusive real estate deal backed by legislation – ring any alarm bells?

  21. Anonymous says:

    The idea of facilitating technology parks is good. The idea that Caymanians will be prevented from developiong them so as to guarantee the profits of one party is not. To ask the same question that needs to be asked about everything this government does, "Who benefits" from the grant of exclusive profits to one entity? Are there exclusive rental agreements or rides on private jets involved?

    • Anonymous says:

      are you being serious?  how many Caymanians had the idea to setup a tech park?  name one!  just name one.  stop being such a foreigner-phobic fool and appreciate that this is a clean project (in every sense of the word) that offers a fantastic opportunity for Cayman.

      • Anonymous says:

        I am Caymanian and put forward a proposal to do this in 2003. I was told that no zoning for a technology park would be permitted in Grand Cayman. Maybe that outcome was inevitable given that I don't believe in XXXXX.

  22. Lintrus says:

    I think the term is "techie". Or am I just being tetchy?

  23. Hear Hear!!! says:

    This is good news.  Now if Cayman can position ourselves with a lucrative (well overdue) data protection law and iproved e-commerce actions (zzzz, wake up Elio!) then we MAY have some business.  The world of offshore data is growing, can Cayman be a player?

    • Anonymous says:

      Don't bother Ellio right now, he's still green with envy watching Mario drive around in his new Ferrari. Perhaps Mario will let Ellio drive the second one when it gets here?

  24. peter milburn says:

    For another one who does not support all that you are doing this should be a welcome addition but having said all that lets not sit on this for too long.This should be debated(or whatever you all do with these motions)asap so that the developers will see that we mean business.

  25. caymanman1@hotmail.com says:

    Ohh dont celebrate just yet, read the bill first !!!

     

     

  26. Anonymous says:

    cayman enterprise city….soon come …maybe…

  27. Anonymous says:

    I thought medical tourism was the third pillar of the Cayman economy?

  28. Anonymous says:

    And I applaud you too, this is a fantastic development and definitely will be a financial plus to Cayman. And the hundreds or is it thousands of nice white collar jobs that will be available. I will want my son to get a nice career there and if he's hired that will really make his day.

    • Caymanian says:

      Right,  If you son wants to be hired as a gardener or receptionist.  Look at Camana Bay.  Besides, Ms. Doak who on their White Collar staff is "Caymanian" or is married to a Caymanian?

      Dart biz and CEC both will bring a LOT of money to developers, but the hard working degreed Caymanian will be at the very end of the hiring line.  We were told that qualified Caymanians would be hired at DART, but I'd like you to name ANY besides Ms. Doak.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ms Doak became Caymanian relatively recently. Great gal though, and we should be glad to count her as one of us.

  29. Anonymous says:

    From somone who usually opposes most of what you do, I applaud you on this one Mr Bush.  Thank you.