Policy changes coming for Trade & Business

| 26/02/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman business news(CNS): As part of the government’s policy changes regarding business and investment, the Trade & Business Licensing Office has been moved from the responsibility of the Department of Immigration to the new Department of Commerce and Investment (DCI). The move, officials said, was part of the recent changes in the national policy framework to stimulate inward and local investment in the Cayman Islands. Trade and Business will now be integrated with the DCI. (Left: DCI Executive Director Dax Basdeo)

The change will “further streamline efforts and facilitate greater efficiency” in the licensing process, government promised.

“With direct access to licensing information, DCI will be better able to track the success of inward investment and small business development programmes, and thereby provide the statistical information needed to make sound economic policy decisions,” the department said in a release. The Department of Commerce and Investment is now responsible for stimulating and facilitating appropriate, long-term, inward and local investment in the Cayman Islands, providing technical assistance to local entrepreneurs and small businesses and linking investors with potential customers, suppliers and other business partners.

Premier McKeeva Bush told the Legislative Assembly yesterday (Thursday 25 February) that a number of changes were underway with regards to the policies surrounding Trade and Business when he adopted a motion by independent MLA Ezzard Miller to also set up a fair trade commission, which would include consumer protection as well as protection for Caymanian business owners facing unfair competition for large foreign own companies.

He told the House that the transfer of the T&B office was the first step in a number of changes which would help local business. Bush said there would be a review of the licensing prices, which currently sees the smallest of businesses pay the same as large commercial enterprises, and the board was currently examining a number of issues relating to the local business environment.

The move for T&B is effective from Monday, 1 March, and the T&B office will officially become a unit within the Department of Commerce and Investment (DCI). The Trade and Business Office is located at Sussex House, Elgin Avenue, and hours of operation are Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.

From now on all applications for T&B licenses must be submitted directly to the Trade and Business Licensing Office at Sussex House, Elgin Avenue and all payments for T&B licenses must be made at the Trade and Business Licensing Office: Trade and Business Licensing Office, PO Box 10493 APO, Grand Cayman, KY1-1005. Trade and Business Licensing information can also be accessed on www.dci.gov.ky; downloadable forms will be available shortly, the office stated. For more information, contact the office on 244-2067 or 244-2086.

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  1. Shock and Awe says:

    "Fair Trade" commission?

    "linking investors with potential customers (oops), suppliers and "other" business partners." 

    In other places it’s called rackiteering.

  2. Alan Roffey says:

    Whilst looking at "fair trading" how about enacting a law that requires prompt payment between businesses, say within 30 days of invoice, with easy to recover punitive damages against those that don’t.

    That would protect a lot of small businesses from the rampant stealing that goes on in certain sectors of our community by people who have grown to rely on the fact that it’s very time consuming and expensive for honest creditors to chase them for money.

    As I understand it, the Small Claims Court has a limit of CI$20K. In contrast the new financial division of the Grand Court has a fee of CI$ 15K just to file a claim let alone the legal fees associated with drafting the Writ and Statement of Claim.

    An honest businessman faced with going to Court to obtain payment of a debt less than $100K has a tough decision to make.

    Many decide that its best to just roll the loss into the bad debt column and put up your prices next year so that the honest prompt paying customer pays more next time around.

    Meanwhile the unscrupulous debtor continues to believe its OK to steal from his trading partnersas long as they are dumb enough to trust him.

    The net effect of this is declining trust in local business generally and everyone pays higher prices  for everything.

    Refusing to pay bills on time is stealing!

    So lets have a strict time limit for bill payment, a higher claim value for Small Claims Court, say CI$ 250K, a no nonsense timetable for dealing with these sorts of issues and punitive damages for regular offendors.

    • Rhum-point-pole says:

      An undisputed debt is straightforward to enforce.  However toughening up the bankruptcy laws in Cayman to include residential homes would make a big difference to certain repeat Caymanian debtors.

      Small claims is probably at the right limit – after all legal fees aren’t recoverable so the businessman in question would usually be better off filing in the Grand Court (and that would probably not be the FSD anyway).  The FSD fee is $5,000 and includes some "tickets" to avoid court fees for a few subsequent hearings. Increasing small claims to $250k would draw in more complex disputes which are not suited to the procedures.

    • frank rizzo says:

      Leave Small Claims Court for small claims.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The more our government removes itself from interfering with private business, the better.

    No one is better qualified to say what a business needs than its owners.

    People are not equal, no matter what their education or what degrees they hold from whatever university.

    And the employer is the only one who can evaluate his employees. What is truly remarkable is how long it takes for governments to recognize this basic fact.

    The more governments force and shove businesses around to meet their bureaucratic objectives, the worse it is for those businesses, the Cayman Islands, the economy, and inflation.



  4. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully he will be given new and motivated staff who will actually answer a telephone and take the effort to get applications on agendas and send out letters of what was decided quickly! There have been too many cases of having to wait forever even though it doesnt look like there is not a lot of work for them to do. Every time I go there it is like everyone is on vacation! Good luck with making changes Mr. Basdeo, I think you will need it!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hope this means the end waiting 9 months to get a T&B License renewal!!!

    I’ll congratulate the move if I notice positive changes, because (NO offence or asperison to Dr.Dasdeo) every civil service Department has some inefficient staff.

  6. Anonymous says:

    What do the folks in the Brac and Little do?  Makes it easy it seems!

    • Well says:

      Well, as an investment in their future they can spend $120 and fly to GC for a meeting, or they can use a new fangled machine called the telephone or something called the worldwide interweb  . . . .

  7. Lawless Caymanian says:

    Great news. Anyone wanting to invest, I will be your 60% Caymanian partner for CI$500 per year.  Never mind what the law says about that being illegal. Plenty of lawyers will help you do it, and since the Police and AG are incapable of even dealing with the simple matter of people stealing pension monies, we have nothing to worry about. 

    Sure, it will destroy Cayman eventually, and cause all profits to be eventually exported but boy, we can make a lot of money for now. When you lie to immigration about only having 40% of the business and they give you PR and then status, you can stop paying me.

    email me at birthrightupforgrabs@hotmail.com



    • Anonymous says:

      "A lot of money"? Anyone fronting for $500 per year is not only acting illegally he/she is a complete idiot. It is simply not worth the while or the risk of being being caught.   

      • Anonymous says:

        You do not get it. Even if you get caught, nothing happens. There has NEVER been a prosecution. The lawyers that set up the illegal schemes are NEVER sanctioned. The illegal profits are NEVER confiscated.

        So 500 a year is well worth it. I am looking for volume. If I do it 100 times, that is 50,000 a year for at least 10 years. Having laws that never get enforced is SOOOO much fun!

        And they say crime does not pay. Nonsense.


      • Anonymous says:

        Agreed!  I have a foreign partner and he has in fact treated me well.  He has used the law to benefit both parties, he and I.  While the money, the strategies, the concept and headaches is his, I am compensated for my birthright…and fairly well may I mention also. 

        I do know of other folks who has done similar "transactions"with less benefit to them, which I think is just silly-to say the least.

        My business partner has gained Caymanian Status some time back, but to date, we have a friendship that goes beyond the business and trust and agreement.  Both of our wives are friends as well.  This makes life easier for both parties.

        This opportunity has also given me expiriences that I may not have had otherwise seen had I not had fair dialog, reasoning, bargaining/negoitiations if you may, with the partner with the money and idea.  I would not have gained operations, meeting, banking etc expiriences then either.


        I am thankful for sure.

        • Anonymous says:

           Thank you for that honest response.  Everyone knows that many, many Caymanians have done well becoming partners with foreigners with capital behind them. In many cases, businesses started in such a fashion have brought goods or services here that were needed, or at least enhanced the community. This is great for consumers, whether they be residents or visitors.  In some cases, I know, these entities gave competitionto old established business and might have even put them out of business.  But those are the breaks in a free market economy. You either rise to the occasion against the competition or you fail.  As long as there is a Caymanian getting fairly treated behind the business, who cares?

          The problem comes in when some Caymanians sell their birthright too cheaply, allowing the foreigner to take advantage of them.  But it’s been my experience that when this happens, the foreigner is often the one who gets shafted in the end anyway.  

          • Shock and Awe says:

            "As long as there is a Caymanian getting fairly treated behind the business, who cares?"


            Let me think about that

            Is that a business model?

        • Anonymous says:

          It sounds to me that you have each provided the other with a required skill/service which is how honest business is transacted. My question to you is what have you done with these skills you have been shown? Have you set up other businesses within Cayman. I would like to think so.

    • DMA says:

      I like Mr. Basdeo’s smile and he is photogenic as well but If I recall correctly, Mr. Dax Basedo has never worked in the private sector and he is suppose to help small businesses and attract inward business to the island. Good luck! Textbook and real world business are two different pair of shoes. Unfortunately, most people working under his leadership are very much like him just without the academic title.

      The CIIB has accomplished? Right n o t h i n g for what it cost to entertain this department and the same will be true for the new department he is heading.  



      • Twyla Vargas says:

        I LIKE DAX BASEDO TOO, he is a wonderful, very  humble guy, from good parents and grand parents.  I trust him to do the best he can in this business, and I do hope that those in authority will allow him to do just that.  Small business need help, to be protected and expanded to the outer districts.  I am hoping for the best.

      • Concern Native says:

        Amen Brother! What successful business has Dax been involved in that gives him that authority on how to put together a business. Nilloooooo! He comes from a family of acedemics and civil servants not business wiz heads. But if you notice appoint people to posts that are easy to manipulate. Sorry folks this government has a lot of work in revamping the entire service.

        They must start with amalgmation and elimination of all 90 or so government departments, units, agencies and authorities.

        Another problen the civil service is faced with is having too many servants and not good leaders. At this present time there are at least two ministries that have chief officers with over 30 years of service that is doing a disservice to the the service because they are not able to make the transition from the past to the present (governmental accounting to acural accounting). Maybe they could be good advisers on policies but please take them out of the day to day stream of supervision.

        With a budget deficit of $56m and over 6k employees all that is needed is to retire servants the have completed 25 years of service or have reached the age of 55. There’s your $56m right there. Now, these persons will have to be given a golden handshake but that can be arranged through their pension, a private business venture, some consultancy opportunity and a one time payout through a loan from the private banks, DART, the UK government or the World Bank. 

      • Anonymous says:

         Excuse me, but that’s Dr. Basdeo to you.

      • Anonymous says:


        This post only goes to show that there are some people who like to be negative and don’t know what they are talking about.  

        I’ve gotten help from the CIIB and Dr. Basdeo in particular and I can say 100% that they are capable and caring people! It’s about time some help is available to small business in Cayman.

        Most business in Cayman is small business, and we need help in order to compete with big business and create jobs and incomes for Caymanians.