Government makes key changes to offshore laws

| 12/04/2011

(CNS): UpdatedCayman’s premier pushed through three important pieces of legislation yesterday, which he said would help the country’s financial sector be more competitive. In the first set of amendments in what will be a number of changes to modernise the laws dealing with the offshore industry, McKeeva Bush introduced thirteen new provisions in the Companies Law, as well as amendments to companion legislation. He said the changes followed considerable consultation with the private sector to help make the Cayman Islands more attractive on the global stage. These and future amendments would help the jurisdiction stay at the forefront of the industry relating to company registration, he added.

He said that Cayman’s success in the past had been down to its ability to change the Companies Law and similar legislation in response to global challenges and competition, as well as changes in regulation. Bush added that the latest changes were critical to the future of the sector and address a diversity of concerns from the uncertainty over mergers to the transfer of shares electronically as well as issues like providing for foreign script dual names onlegal documents without direct translations.

“The provisions have a sound rationale and there has been extensive consultation with the industry,” the premier told his legislative colleagues in the Assembly on Monday morning (11 April). He added that the changes reflected the dynamic relationship which existed between government and the private sector which would create further opportunities for growth.

Bush said that people had to be innovative to succeed on the modern stage. “That’s what it takes these days when there is lots of competition and challenges,” he added. “The only way to survive is to be innovative.”

Alongside The Companies (Amendment) Bill 2011, The Securities Investment Business (Amendment) Bill 2011 and the Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2011 were also passed through with support from the opposition as well as the government benches.

In a release from the ministry, Charles Jennings, Chairman of the Financial Services Legislative Committee added that amendments showed that the purpose of the Committee, to propose and draft new laws and amendments to enhance the jurisdiction’s reputation as a leading financial services centre, had been achieved. "The Committee looks forward to being able to continue its work in partnership with the Government, the Companies Law amendments being the first of several proposals that the Committee is currently working on," the former Maples partner stated.

Speaking at a public meeting in North Side in the evening the premier told the people that these laws were expected to increase the attractiveness of Cayman and gain ground against competitors. He spoke of the significance of having the private and public sectors working together to enhance the jurisdiction and the diversification of the economy.

He noted that while tourism and finance were the two vital and long standing pillars of the local economy the country could no longer expect to see the kind of growth in those industries as in the past.

“It is important when we are challenged on what we do here to amend laws to stay competitive,” Bush stated. “There are many, many competitors. All those little islands that were once agriculture based are doing finance business. We can’t sit down and do nothing, we have to be innovative…..We can’t fight G20.We have to be transparent with the right legislation and keep our nose clean.”



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  1. Anonymous says:

    If only our government had the same political will to upgrade other laws that have been patiently waiting for a little love and attention for years now. The Childrens Law, the Employment Law, the Legal Practiotioners Bill come to mind. *sigh*