Mac to sell Cayman in Asia

| 06/12/2009

(CNS): Hitting out at those who have criticized him over the recent road show to promote the Cayman Islands overseas, Premier McKeeva Bush has said that it was an essential trip and he intends to do more, particularly in Asia. He slammed the previous administration’s decision not to establish a presence there, which he said had put Cayman behind, but he intended to continue going on the road to promote Cayman. Warning that the island faced heavy competition for business, he said travelling overseas would be an important part of the government’s strategy to regain foreign investment.

Speaking in the Legislative Assembly last week, Bush said the road show was to promote the Cayman Islands as an attractive jurisdiction to investors and as a first choice for financial entities. He said the delegationalso promoted the role of CIMA, the islands’ regulatory environment, as well as the legal system and the new financial division of the courts.

Bush explained that during the overseas trips the delegation hosted a serious of receptions, which were particularly well attended in Singapore and Hong Kong, where almost 200 guests attended.
“It is clear we need to do this with more frequency,” he said. “We lack the presence in Asia, and this is an issue that my ministry will be addressing because Asia is recognized as an important source of business and our key competitors are already promoting themselves and establishing a presence in Asia.”
The premier said he would re-establish a presence on the continent because Cayman could no longer afford to ignore that region as it was becoming one of the most important when it comes to financial services. “The evidence of this can be seen from the increasing presence of the various law firms there, including some of Cayman’s top firms,” he said.
He did not want to dwell on the past, he said, but then launched an attack on the previous PPM administration,, saying it was unfortunate that Charles Cliffor,d the former minister had reversed his decision made during the last UDP government to establish an office in Hong Kong. “If this had not been discontinued we would have been much further ahead today,” Bush told the House. “Our key competitors are increasing their efforts in Asia and we have also heard directly from the financial services representatives in Asia that they would like to see and hear from us more regularly.”
Criticising the previous government, he said their idea that the Cayman Islands government did not need a presence in Hong Kong and that the local firms that had offices there would promote the jurisdiction was flawed, because they were promoting themselves and their own business, not Cayman.
Bush said he would be embarking on more promotional efforts all over the world and the critics needed to understand that it was necessary to promote Cayman seriously. Hitting out at those who have criticized the road show, he said before they get on the blogs and talk shows criticizing his actions they needed to think about the issue. Bush said the success of the bond issue was down to the promotional tour, and Cayman faced very serious stiff competition because the country had not promoted itself over the last four years and had fallen behind.
“We will have to spend money to promote, but it will yield result,” he said. “The bloggers need to think about this before they write their nonsense.” He observed that it would be interesting to see the names of the people who were criticizing him and inferred they had been put up to it by the opposition benches.
Bush, however, made it clear he intended to go on more promotional trips around the world as Cayman faced very real competition from other offshore as well as onshore jurisdictions. He told the members of the House that during the road show they had learned that the Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands and Jersey were also out and about promoting their financial service sectors.
He also said that, aside from the competition, the road show delegates encountered a number of concerns from financial investors about the efforts of the FCO to encourage the territories to introduce direct taxation and the pressure from G20 countries, which they believed put the financial services industry at risk.
“The delegation addressed these concerns,’ he said, warning there was a lot of work to do. He explained this was demonstrated by the recent departure of some firms from the Cayman Islands. The premier said that, while some of them remained licensed in Cayman, the country was losing revenue from work permits as well as indirect revenues from the loss of staff, which would have been spent in the domestic economy, and the loss of revenue for local business. The government could not allow the trend to continue, he said.
“Not only do we need to roll out the green carpet for both foreign and local investors … but we also need to make efforts to ensure that existing firms continue to see this country as the first choice as both as a place to be domiciled, but more importantly as a place to carry out their physical operations.”
He warned that things had to change and that was why he was going to address immigration policy. Everyone had better realize that without these companies there would be no Caymanians employed,” he said, gearing up for the expected backlash against the relaxation of immigration restrictions for the financial sector. “If we don’t change the way we think we are going to suffer,’ he added.   
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  1. Anonymous says:

    Any government official who travels around the world claiming to promote these islands – at great cost that thevery administration said cannot be afforded by the way – should be made to do full and detailed reports of the monies spent and show how it has benefitted the country. Coming back and  talking about what was seen and what it is hoped will be achieved by such expensive trips just does not cut in in these tough economic times! Of course we would all love to do a world tour at someone else’s expense but come on guys.

  2. Anonymous says:

    They are going to sell Cayman to Asia?


    Guess I am a Dork cause I thought we already sold it to the Americans, (seven mile beach) the British,  ( the legal system) the Jamaicans,  (construction) the accountants (British, American, Canadian), The Indians,  (good restaurant and medical people) and now we are  right on track. I hear they make good suits in Hong Kong – and they are  cheap too.. i am in on this one,,,




  3. anonymous says:

    Ezzard Miller makes a lot of sense, He should be heard by Mr. Bush. Its not up to Big Mac to make decisions alond regarding whats best for the people of this country. .

  4. the Watcher says:


    Cayman has already been sold to the money hawks and real estate speculators driving up the cost of land where locals can’t afford. What’s left to sell? I forgot the Governor’s property XXXXX. We can’t allow this to happen. Thisis the peoples property that “MUST REMAIN” in government hands at all cost.  
    • anonymous says:

      What Caymanians don’t rea;ise is that when these developers and Big Mac completely destroy the mangroves which acts as abarrier or a levy to protect the inland from hurricanes, that this could become another New Orleans, and what will happen then?  You can not allow this premmiere to have his way in permitting the continued dredging of the Cayman Islands wetlands unsensored.  There needs to  be a moratorium put on all this dredging that’s taking place. There are other industries that can be invested in besides dredging  for building. You won’t enjoyu it anyway .These wealthy tycoons haveeanough dollars to relocate to other countries when they have destroyed ours little islands and created  a situation wherein a Hurricane disaster takes place causing massive loss of life, like what happened in new Orleans Lusiana, because the government did not take warning to repair the levys. We have no levys in Cayman but you certainly have the wetlands, the mangroves that acts as a protective barrier from the impact of the hurricanes. So don’t be foolish, protet them.  Maybe the Cayman Citizens need to file another law suit to protect them like you protected the beach access in 2001.  Or have you all made Big Mac put you all too in is back pocket?  you’re awfully quiet. lets see..

  5. Lachlan MacTavish says:

    It would be nice to see more "inward" pro active governing from the LOGB and the Cabinet. These world trips are negative sound bites for the residents. Time to focus internally… the country real CIG cut backs, lets see a solid announcement of a privitization of a GIG department, stay over tourism….set up a tourism authority that works, set up a two year discounted CAL airfare program to promote stay over’s, reduce duties for the middle class increase duties on luxury items, DO SOMETHING NOW yes I’m shouting about Mt Trashmore it is an embarassment and an environmental bomb stop talking about it and do something, another shout STOP LEAVING THE ISLAND AND PERSONALLY LEAD THE ATTACK ON CRIME IN OUR COUNTRY. 

  6. John Champion says:

    What a massive joke, Cayman is burning and McNero is fiddling away. I used to be a staunch Bush supporter as I favored his "get things done" approach over the timid Kurt.

    But I no longer have any confidence in his hare-brained approach to governing this country. He may be the premier, but he is behaving like the derriere. We are rotting under a mountain of garbage, the law-enforcement have been intimidated, solved crime is an oxymoron, businesses are leaving, prices are skyrocketing as the local cartels bleed us for more than they could ever spend and MLA’s do absolutely nothing. This latest bunch of elected officials are absolutely pitiful. They have done nothing since they washed up and they should all resign now.

    I hear Mac is now promising his cronies the dredging in the North Sound and Lord knows what else.

    I was driving up the West Bay Road this afternoon. The stench was vile and I was wondering what the tourists were thinking? Perhaps this was some exotic Caribbean odor? We should be ashamed of ourselves, treating our guests like this and we rip them off and then moan about how little they spend.

    Then we go home to our mansions and our workers go home 7 to a room. Shame on you, leaders of the Cayman Islands, Shame, Shame, Shame. PPM, UDP, Independents, Attorney General, Leader of Police, Governor, SHAME, SHAME, SHAME on you for destroying our once beautiful country. SHAME.

    Where are the real caymanians, because this bunch of lizards is definitely not you? You have lined your pockets at the expense of all that is good. Mr Bush, come home right now, economy class, and you will not be allowed any more expensive vacations on our dime until you fix the problems at home and prove yourself a worthy leader, not some headless chicken with no direction!


  7. Anonymous says:

    AA Ebanks, I have never heard of Hong Kong in West Bay!

  8. Anonymous says:

    No AA Ebanks, we dont have the wrong impression of McKeeva Bush its just you are blinded by McKeeva Bush and we know exactly what he wants you to believe but we know different!

  9. Anonymous says:

    “The bloggers need to think about this before they write their nonsense.” He observed that it would be interesting to see the names of the people who were criticizing him and inferred they had been put up to it by the opposition benches.


    Mac please try to understand that just because your fans/supporters generally cannot think for themselves this does not mean that the rest of us need the opposition (PPM) to think for us!  We are quite capable of thinking for ourselves and blogging about all your nonsensical madness and we will continue to do so whether you like it or not. 

  10. Anonymous says:

    CNS, thanks for your response. 

  11. Anonymous says:

    why not stay at home and try and sell cayman to the companies that are leaving?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Is it a coincidence that every place the Minister for Luxury Travel with Cronies visits has a thriving casino industry?

    More seriously, I challenge anybody to show that Cayman has received or will ever receive any benefit from all this luxury travel. The way things are going there will need to be another bond issue just to pay off the debts on those Government issue gold cards.

  13. Annoymous says:

    Dear Mr. Premier:

    If the bloggers are such a bother to you why are you reading them?

    IF you feel that it’s necessary to identify people who say things about you and your administration then go ahead with all your POWER and declare us a COMMUNIST country!!  This way you will be able to single out those who criticize you and you can them victimize them. 

    OH, but you a God fearing man now, then you know what you have to do about those critic’s – forgive them Mr. Premier, as God also forgives you too.

    If you can’t handle the position Sir, and the bloggers is getting under your skin, then do the right thing, STEP DOWN!!

  14. AA Ebanks says:

    Too many people have the wrong impression about what McKeeva is trying to do. It’s not that he’s literally "selling Cayman" as in physical parts of the island, it’s promoting the opportunity for business ventures here. And without him doing so as the Premier then Cayman will falter, as it has during the last four years. I lived in Hong Kong and trust me, they’re doing fine without us. We need to step our game up or else we won’t return to the firm footing we had in the Top FIVE Financial Centres in the world, a big title for such a small place. I’m proud of McKeeva’s efforts since his time in Government to promote Cayman. He’s good at it and we should let him continue. We’ll – locals and foreigners alike – only benefit from it in the end when the money comes pouring in.

    • Anonymous says:

      AA Ebanks, are you being serious? He’s not really selling "parts’ of Cayman?LOL! LMFAO!!!

    • Annoymous says:

      What MONEY coming pouring in?????

      The only money I see pouring in comes XXXXX!!!

      If you not on that wagon train I can assure you, there will be no place for you in this society.

      We have been separated people!!! The powers that be have decided to do

      what the old English Colonial Masters did us……CONQUER & DIVIDE!!!

      We are a minority in our country and we are being sold off everyday in some form or fashion.


      OUr leaders are the GREEDIEST bunch of HYPOCRITES to walk the shores of this country.  IT is all ABOUT THEM, and how oppressed they can make the majority with their implementation of higher fees and taxes so that we are kept under a FIRM THUMB so that we have to go to them and BEG for something. 

      I hate this GOvt., and I hope that God sees how much we all Hate them too and take these govderning pains from us before they take our last dime along with our last breath.  I am praying for this Govt. to fail, and I hope God makes them fail too.

      Cayman News Service: I am thankful for this blog it helps me to get out my frustrations about this Govt. and those of the past aswell, they are a bunch of POWER HUNGRY, GREEDY F=(kING CAYMANIANS who never had anything and when they get a little something they want to KILL the rest of us for what we have.

      I was born here a blood Caymanian so I don’t give a rats ass who likes what I just said!!


  15. Anonymous says:

    NSS don’t be too sure that anonymity is guaranteed. CNS, how about it? Are bloggers’ identities really absolutely protected on this site or would you be pressured to reveal email addresses and thus names  – a little work permit pressure or Government threats, or what if Elio barged into your offices demanding same?  Please assure us CNS.

    CNS: We made the decision during the design process of this website not to require log-ins or registrations for comments so that people felt comfortable commenting anonymously. The only trace you always leave is an IP address. So, since leaving names and emails is optional and most of you don’t (and often emails don’t identify a person anyway), it would be impossible for us to reveal your identity because we don’t know it. Even if you do leave an email address (and it’s not fake), we will not bow to political pressure and pass it onto some irate politician because that would defeat the point of CNS. 

    And we do not have an office that Ellio can barge into, so we’re safe there.

    However, there is a note in our Comment Policy that says: "If we receive a comment that indicates an intent to commit an act of violence or any other criminal act, or incites others to do so, we may contact and fully cooperate with law-enforcement agencies."

    I hope this answers your question.


    • anonymous says:

      I applaud CNS for their efforts to accommodate the readers and writers of this forum

      However, I wasn’t born behind a cow behind. Big Mac in all his autocracy is not going to let CNS, CNN, nor CFP none of these media networks slide so easily without some kind of sensoring, he’s too power hungry and to bullying and too dictatorial, the first two newspapers have had their time with him and not only were intimidated and victimized especially CNN what makes the readers of this forum to believe that they and their identity are completely safe based on CNS comments and policy of free speech, I don’t buy it, I know Big Mac only too well and he will find a way to streamline any media to find out who is criticising him. Its just his nature.   So CNS come again. Tell me something more.

      I got news for you, I am vry computer savvy and I am well aware when there’s a presence of a hacker or invasion of computer privacy, I have experienced some weird activity and search results while trying to post or access CNS so I don’t really believe that all of this is true that readers identities are completely safe. Its just not that way at all. Convince me otherwise. I still appreciate your efforts and the opportunity to have our voices heard.,

      CNS: Our server is located in the US and we have every confidence in its security. Plus, our access log is purged automatically very regularly to prevent log data from using up all the disk space, so very little information is stored anyway.

  16. Anonymous says:

    there goes the premeir… off to throw some more international parties!!

  17. Anonymous says:

    What McKeeva might not know is that Minister Clifford consulted widely before making the decision to close the Hong Kong "office space".

    Yes it was "office space" which had been leased and McKeeva had sent an unemployed past tourism worker over to Hong Kong and put him up in  a hotel to run this Investment Bureau with no staff, no plan, no strategies, no targets…..nothing !!! What a party he must have been having in Hong Kong !!!

    I am from the private sector and I believe that the Hong Kong Investment Bureau, like the London Investment Bureau, were created simply to provide employment for cronies. Remember McKeeva opened these "Bureaus" even before he had a head office in Cayman. How stupid can one really get ??

    McKeeva it has been proven over time that when it comes on financial services and investment, the private sector is better placed and positioned to effectively carry out these tasks. Leave it to them. Whether you like it or not Mr. Clifford was right when he closed the office and left it to the private sector to manage.

    You need to put aside the petty politics and stay home for awhile…… have lost whatever credibility you may have had…… minute you tell the world that we are bankrupt but yet every week you’re on another world tour.

    What is the truth ????

    I know….and so does the Caymanian people !!!

    And BTW……legalise casinos here…….that might cut down on the number of "required" trips.

  18. Anonymous says:

    "He observed that it would be interesting to see the names of the people who were criticizing him and inferred they had been put up to it by the opposition benches"

    Clearly the words of a Dictator who is trying to intimidate people by suggesting, indirectly, that he might be seeking then names of bloggers.

    Watch out Cayman….give him an inch and he will take a mile !!!!!!!!!!

  19. Anonymous says:

    I misread the headline as ‘Mac to sell Cayman TO Asia’ which to be fair is probably more suitable anyway!

    All through history the Caymanian government and people have been selling their soulsto foreign investors. Greedy land owners have sold their family’s heritage for a few dollars for investors to build apartments and houses that they then rent back to them.

    You thought the Americans were ruthless, wait till we get the chinese or the russian oil boys in buying land. Seven mile beach will have more sky scrapers than New York.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Cayman should be promoted. It might be more affective to contract professionals to make contact. Then feed legitimate interested parties to Cayman to be wined and dined by the Cabinet. I question the value of these road trips.

    I support neither party….just individual politicians…..and my name is right "up there".  

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

      Sorry about that……..I was 9:52…..

      " I support neither party….just individual politicians….and my name is right "up there".

      Lachlan MacTavish 

  21. Rootical Messenjah says:

    I have been anti-government for a long time now , but I have to support the Premier’s position of bringing in foreign investment as I truly believe that he is on the right track.

    The thing about being in a power position is that you see the whole picture, unlike most of us who blog on this site, therefore the decisions that are made occur on a macro level and we are only seeing a small piece of the picture. Hence we critize because we dont have all the information.

    Never mind the entourage and the trips, the reception parties etc. This is what comes with the Premier’s position.

    If we are going to build Cayman up this is what has to be done!



    • Localfix says:

      Maybe the Minister of All Tings should fix the country first so we look good when potential investors come looksee. There sure aint going to be impressed with two empty hotels. Months ago Big Mac threaten the owner  of one and what happened. Nothing. Why the Courtyard Marriott remains closed in the busy season is a mystery. Certainly investors will want to know why these hotels are closed. Next is the dump. Cannot some not fix it. Tourists will not fail to notice the smell.Above all fix the crime problem.

      When all this is done then maybe a team that understands business should be put together. Sending a wannabe banker is embarrassing especially if someone asks questions about his business background.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I don’t have a problem with these marketing trips.  I just don’t think it should be McKeeva who is taking this show on the road.

  23. big whopper says:

    Mr. Mac..come on now this is getting rediculous….

  24. Anonymous says:

    how can this man expect that we will not have serious competition, from all over the world when he went on the world stage telling them that the country was bankrup. who would wont to invest it a bankrup country.i hope that he learn from his foolish mistake he made for politocal reasons  what a jack @@@

  25. Anonymous says:

    Mac – there are 2 ways to lose revenue from work permits

    1. Grant Status to permit holders so they don’t have to pay anymore

    2. Upset the Caymanian people so much in the process they stop smiling at Expats who then fel uncomfortable and leave.

    This is a delicate balance. For this to work the (existing) Caymanian people need to feel they benefit. Many do not. Unless you can change that you will forever have an uphill struggle. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, there is a third – upsetting the expats so much they start to realize the costs of doing business here and inherent uncertainty of tenure don’t outweigh the benefits of working in arguably the safest, most civilized Caribbean island. In the past there was never the need to add the word "arguably". The recent uptick in crime must be quashed for everyones’ benefit.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry but it’s already too late for #2. In 18 months here I don’t think I have been smiled at by more than a handful of Caymanians, even those serving me, unless there is something in it for them. Maybe once on a rare occasion a taxi driver smiles, just after they’ve raped me of 40 bucks for a 2 mile journey.

      The majority of Caymanians I come accross either mind their own business (which is fine) or will suck their teeth when nearby, even if I am at CUC paying a bill or at Lime getting a phone I am frowned at like my being there giving them business is a drag.

      To grow the economy the islands need to encourage new investors and business and whilst the tax free status is attractive the immigration policies and general anti-foreigner sentiment are certainly dis-advantages.

      • Anonymous says:

        Sorry but you are unfortunately paying the price for the fallout from #1. It was not always so.

    • Expat too says:

      Caymanians don’t smile? What a load of rubbish, they so do. In my 2 1/2 years in Cayman I had no more trouble with the locals than what I would have had anywhere in the world. Inever had anyone sucking their teeth at me and for the vast majority of the time I was spoken to in a nice and polite manner and was wished a good day. Maybe there’s something wrong with you and your attitude? Smile, and the world laughs back!  The Caymanians onthe whole do not deserve to be talked about like this, shame on you.

  26. Anonymous says:

    CNS, does anyone know how much this is costing and who the Govt are paying for to make these trips.  It may not be as bad as people think, they may be all travelling coach and doubling up in rooms.  And the law and bank people are all probably paying their own way and sponsering the delegation.

    • Anonymous says:

      10 bucks says they are in first, if not business class and staying in top hotels and suites. you know full well they are not travelling in the cattle truck with the real people and their definately not doubling up in rooms at a travel lodge motel. Well, not until after a few drinks in the bar anyway.

      When has any government ever cut costs when it came to actually sacrificing their own quality of living?

    • nonsense says:

      Does anyone have a list of Contacts generated from the dog and pony shows?

      I used to travel for work doing the same thing. Often times it was lower level staff that attended the seminars – more a perk for some people as we had breakfast and give aways. Hardly ever was there someone there that had the authority to close a deal or sign a check.

      My guess — big ass waste of time and money. I’ve gone and checked on some of these supposed meetings with US Gov, House Ways and Means in particular, and there is no mention in the logs of a Cayman delegation being present. In one case — the committee was scheduled to be in a different meeting at the time. Probably met with some junior senator’s receptionist and called it a day!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Mac does not have to go to Asia to sell Cayman, he has been doing a great job of selling Cayman right here in Cayman. He has been doing a great job for the last 20 years selling Cayman, & to be honest I didn’t realise there was much of Cayman left for him to sell any more! I feel it is time for him to stop selling Cayman, but it may be a little too late for that, so what the heck!

  28. Anonymous says:

    Can’t his cronies talk sense into this man? It is my personal & very humble belief that Mr. Bush & his friends have wasted enough money on vacations now!

  29. Anonymous says:

    OMG, give me a break! He’s off AGAIN? This is getting beyond a joke! He’s addicted to all that free travel, free hotels, & free food! No wonder they call him "premier frequent flyer"!!!! If we are bankrupt (AS HE SAYS), where is all the money coming from for all this travel for him & his LARGE entourage?

  30. Anonymous says:

    Meanwhile back at the fort:  shootings, muggings, daylight robberies, break-ins, home invasions.  This is not a problem.  We’ll hold the fort while you’re gone Mr. Premier.  Be careful in Singapore it’s dangerous I hear.

    Could you bring us back some nunchucks and mace?  Duty free?

  31. NSS says:

    "He observed that it would be interesting to see the names of the people who were criticizing him and inferred they had been put up to it by the opposition benches."

    Isn’t that exactly why we are able to post here without our names?  Fear of retribution is a great censor,