Archive for January 30th, 2011

Innovation in Cayman

| 30/01/2011 | 14 Comments

I applaud Premier Bush’s announcement of a centre to promote innovation in science and technology. It is a necessary component of the diversification of the Cayman economy. However, much more needs to be done. Centres like the one announced by the premier require complementary supports, that is, they need creative, innovative, accomplished people associated with them.

Innovation does not just happen within the four walls of such a centre; it requires a community of creative people of all kinds. Many similar centers for innovation have been created in other countries. Those that are most successful in terms of progressive economic growth are only one part of the economic puzzle. Innovation is not just about scientists, engineers, and technically trained people.

Obviously, the leaders of innovation require a great deal of support. It is quite apparent that they require expertise in finance, accounting, logistics, human resource management, and administration.

However, the nature of the people and expertise that inspires innovation is less apparent. As the research by Richard Florida has clearly shown, economically successful communities have identifiable strengthens in technology, talent, and tolerance. Richard Florida has recently become an advisor on economic growth to Britain’s new prime minister, David Cameron. Currently leading the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto, Florida has investigated cities and regions – mostly in the US and Canada – to determine the role of the key characteristics of technology, talent, and tolerance found in those that are the most successful.

Premier Bush’s innovation centre addresses the issue of technology. However, this can only have a positive impact if it is combined with the development of the other key ingredients – talent and tolerance.

Talent in Cayman requires a broad social acceptance for the significance of college and university education for Caymanians, and the necessary role that experienced expatriates must play. And this is not just in technologies; it is in all fields that make up a creative community.

Tolerance, or the acceptance of all those who promote and contribute to a creative community, is just as important as technology and talent are.

Building a creative country requires new sectors to be supported and developed. Cayman’s innovation centre is an important first step. Ideally it will lead to the development of new sectors that are resilient to global economic trends. In my view, the service sectors of health and college and university education are the best sectors for Cayman to pursue. These sectors, in many different ways, can lead the way in innovation.

There is another aspect of innovation that cannot be overlooked and in which Cayman is well positioned. New technologies only live up to their potential when new
organizational methods and business practices are developed to complement their advances. All too often we fail to create innovative organizations.

Cayman has a history of successful innovation in the field of international finance. Perhaps Cayman can take this expertise into other sectors and become a leader in this important and necessary field – for Cayman and the rest of the world.

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Cayman rises to the top of diver ratings

| 30/01/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman Islands has come top of the polls with readers in an important dive magazine this month further boosting the destination’s tourism hopes for 2011. The islands have been awarded first place for ‘Overall Rating of the Destination’ and ‘Wall Diving’ in the 2011 Readers Choice Awards for Scuba Diving magazine. The impressive quality and diversity of dive sites, coupled with the thriving marine ecosystem, impressed divers enough to rate the destination as the favoured choice for 2011. The news comes in the wake of the international coverage generated for Cayman following the scuttling of the USS Kittiwake. (Photo Lawson Wood)

Officials from the department of tourism said this latest accolade along with the successful sinking of the Kittiwake, against the backdrop of many previous awards shows the Cayman dive product is not only world-class but that it is growing exponentially.

“It is an honour for our destination to have been selected once again for awards which reflect all the hard work of the individuals and organisations both private and government, responsible for making the dive experience here in Cayman what it has become today,” said Acting Director of Tourism, Shomari Scott.

“The dive sector remains committed to enhancing its product and the recent sinking of the Kittiwake is one example of how joint efforts between the government and private sector can work to the benefit of our country. We already have indications that divers arethrilled that the Cayman Islands can offer an even more enhanced dive experience with the Kittiwake, which we expect will be also be highly rated by all who dive this wreck,” he added.

The Cayman Islands has also won awards in various other segments of the annually announced best-of-the-best. The islands placed second in the categories of ‘Overall Rating of the Diving’ and ‘Shore Diving’ and were awarded third spot in the categories of ‘Health of Marine Environment’, ‘Visibility’, ‘Underwater Photography’, ‘Diving for Advanced’ and ‘Macro Life.’

Scuba Diving is a widely read print and online magazine within the dive community. Its readers are supplied with underwater photographs, reviews on dive equipment, safety & training advice, environmental issues and highlights of the best dive destinations around the world. The large online following also participate in discussion forums and other interactive media.

For more information about the Scuba Diving magazine award, visit www.scubadiving.com

 

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Big four in firing line over offshore offices

| 30/01/2011 | 0 Comments

(Daily Mail): The Big Four accountancy firms have come under attack for maintaining on average more than 20 offices each in offshore tax havens despite countries working together to crack down on tax avoidance. The four firms – PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG, Deloitte and Ernst & Young – have 81 offices in offshore tax havens, according to new research by Financial Mail. MP Chuka Ummuna, who earlier this month confronted Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond over the banks’ 300 offshore subsidiaries, said: “There’s a whole industry out there dedicated to helping people avoid tax that will increasingly come under the microscope.

"The more people find out about large companies and rich individuals failing to meet their obligation to society in these austere times the more they will demand action.”

John Christensen, director of the Tax Justice Network, said: “The Big Four are deeply embedded in the tax haven world. They’re major players in shaping the laws and regulations of these places and encouraging clients – high net worth individuals and corporate clients – to maximise their tax avoidance through such places."

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Couple found safe after woman falls overboard

| 30/01/2011 | 35 Comments

(CNS): A man and woman who went missing off a pleasure boat earlier this evening have turned up safe and well in Snug Harbour and the search and rescue operation launched to look for them has been called off. The vessel had been travelling from Kaibo to Safe Haven but along the way it was discovered that the two people were missing. The police were called about 7:55pm tonight and the RCIPS Air Operations Unit and Joint Marine Unit vessel Typhoon (left) were immediately deployed to commence a search of the North Sound. Around 9.50 pm tonight police received a report that a man and a woman had called at a residence in the Snug Harbour area asking for assistance.

Tired and wet, they said that the woman had fallen overboard from the boat and her husband had jumped into the water to help her. When they realised that the boat was not turning around they both swam to shore.

Police and ambulance attended the location and confirmed that the couple were safe and well. They did not require any medical attention. The boat, and the remaining passengers, are on their way back to Safe Haven.

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