Archive for January 2nd, 2011

Bush confident of recovery in 2011

| 02/01/2011 | 48 Comments

(CNS): In a New Year message to the people of the Cayman Islands the premier said he was confident that the country would recover from the economic downturn in 2011 as a result of his recently revealed stimulus package. McKeeva Bush told the country he would be introducing waivers for business and licensing fees, certain stamp and import duties. He also said the country could expect faster work permits and up to a 75% reduction in work permit fees for staff in the Sister Island. Businesses on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman will also receive a 50% reduction on Trade & Business license fees, he announced. Bush also said that for the first 6 months of the New Year  projects submitted for planning approval would be allowed to defer 100% of the required Infrastructure fees until the Certificate of Completion was required.

The premier said that 25% of the Building Control fees would also be deferred until Certificate of Completion, as revealed in the changes to the planning law earlier this year. Focusing on boosting the construction industry, he said all projects submittingfor planning permission or for a building permit between January and June will be allowed to import materials before 31 December 2011 at a flat rate of 15% duty.

“Our government will further ensure that local merchants will be granted a credit of the same value on the future importation and restocking of materials under this programme. This will ensure that the local merchants will not be disadvantaged on the sale of materials they have already imported,” Bush stated. “These are just the tip of the iceberg for what we perceive to be the first steps in turning around the economy.”

Reiterating his recently announced short and long term stimulus policies, Bush said that throughout 2011 the main objective would be to keep the Cayman Islands competitive.

“To achieve this, we must adapt our national and promotional strategies towards our major industries, and be prepared to change focus where and when necessary,” he added. “An important element of the recovery effort is to diversify our economy, which we will begin to see early in 2011. The emergence of two new areas of focus in the tourism industry – medical and sports tourism – will surely open new doors and stimulate growth of our local economy.”

He added that the creation of jobs, the retention of companies and the continuation of provision of community assistance to churches would be top priorities for the government in the New Year.

Bush said that his own theme for the New Year is Hope, Love and Tolerance. He said people had become too intolerant and were saying the worst things of each other and thinking the worst of people.
“Let us make a decision this year to be more tolerant of those around us, to helpmake our homes, our churches and our communities a better place to live,” the premier said as he asked people to love rather than hate, which would make people more content.

See full speech below
 

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