Cabinet approves techy zone

| 16/01/2012

CEC-Special-Economic-Zone-3.jpg(CNS): Although the creators of Cayman's first ever special economic zone (SEZ) have not yet revealed where the much anticipated science and technology park will eventually be located, the government has approved the order naming Cayman Enterprise City as the developer. This means that CEC can now take advantage of the benefits and concessions prescribed in the SEZ law even before the first phase of the techy park is built. Cabinet approved the order on Tuesday 10 January and officials said Monday that it would be gazetted in a few weeks. The law will pave the way for CEC to create what it has said will be a multi-phase development that will have some six different campuses catering to IT, science, media, bio-technology, commodities as well as academic and research companies.

The developers have stated that the first phase will cover 150,000 sq ft and that it was meant to break ground in the first quarter of this year but so far no location has been revealed.

The development proposal has been broadly welcomed in the community as a result of the focus on attracting modern technologies but as yet the developer has not revealed if any of the tenants they hope to attract have agreed to relocate to Cayman. CEC has said it will create some 800 jobs in its first year but so far it has created 20.

In the wake of Cabinet’s decision to issue the order for the creation of the zone, the premier said he was pleased with the progress of Cayman Enterprize City. “Government and CEC have worked well together in order to move this particular special economic zone forward professionally and quickly,” McKeeva Bush stated in a release from his ministry.  "I'm particularly pleased that already, CEC has hired more than 20 staff, 70% of which are Caymanians. This is a great indication that government’s policy to make the right climate for investment is working."

The first meeting of the Special Economic Zone Authority (SEZA), which is responsible for enforcement of policy and oversight of this, the first zone of its kind, and any future zones took place on 14 December. The Department ofCommerce and Investment (DCI), in the Ministry of Finance, is secretariat for the SEZA. In this role DCI is responsible for the authority’s daily administration, including carrying out its functions and record keeping of all meetings, proceedings and decisions.

The members of the new authority were also revealed in the release by ministry officials and they are:
Chairman David Kirkaldy
Deputy Chairman Marcus Cumber
Director Jason Blick (CEO, CEC)
Director Glen Daykin
Director Director of Commerce & Investment (or designate)
Director Collector of Customs (or designate)
Director Chief Immigration Office (or designate)
Director Director of Planning (or designate)
Director Director of Labour (or designate)
Director Chief Surveyor (or designate)

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Category: Politics

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  1. The Lone Haranguer says:

    Mabye some Caymanians who are suckling off the Civil service teat will go get jobs in this SEZ and enable us to pay down this massive public dept that the DNNIBSC (PPM) left us with and the CAVE men do not want us to fight our way out of.

    Praise the Lord but you know, but pass the ammunition !

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is a real estate play first. Second it is a monopoly. Third if it actually works you folks are going to go apeshit when you fee some actual technology on the island, you know–stem cells, embryos, gene splicing, radiologicals, drug testing, microbes, cloning. It ain't going to be nice clean software development because you can do that anywhere and most places are cheaper for codewriters to live. If science comes, it's going to be the kind that wants to avoid US/UK domestic law. Same as the financial industry.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Not criticizing this thing simply because i'm another CAVE-man (Caymanian Against Virtually Everything….have to admit, i heard that and thought it funny)…..

    but back to this Enterprise City thing….if you look at their website, they list their "unique benefits"…..of the 12 listed, there are ZERO benefits different to a company coming to Cayman today than on offer at this new place…its all a bit odd, as the benefits they offer are available today if people try for them

    ……..they say EXEMPT From work permits….well, actually, there are companies operating here that dont have work permit holders, rather they are operated by wealthy boffins with the RTW, etc….or Status holders, etc

    this is all nonsense…..the Govt are missing a massive branding oppportunity, becuase lets be frank, the entire Islands of Cayman are a giant potential enterprise country, never mind an enterprise city……

    btw – i love to see it when companies "guarantee" anything…these wizards are guaranteeing 10 day fast tracks!!  GUARANTEED!!

    finally – they dont know our time zone….check it out, i'm sure there's more if we bother to look


    • The Lone Haranguer says:

      CAVE men (Caymanians againt vitually everthing), that's so much cleaner than DNNIBSC (do nothing no ideas big spending crowd) can I use that from now on Annon?

  4. Anonymous says:

    …….one more year left to go and nothing yet! Oh well I guess the next Government will withdraw on most of these projects and more money and time wasted.  

  5. Anonymous says:

    Am I missing something, but how on earth can Mr Blick be on the Authority when he’s the principal representative of CEC on the island?

    Sorry, I MUST be missing something: the conflict is too obvious even for the Premier to miss it.

    Educate me please, someone!

    • anonymous says:

      TOTAL CONFLICT!!!!!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t financial services executives sit on CIMA board? That’s normal. You need at least one expert in the field. The others provide the oversight.

      • Anonymous says:

        Non of these people have any bio-tech experience beyond changing diapers.

      • Anonymous says:

        Lindburgh Martin is CEO of InterTrust and is ALSO Deputy Chair of CIMA.

        This is not a conflict.  Its normal for a regulatory board to have one rep from the industry to provide perspective.  get a grip people.

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re right. This is the most important question of all.

    • Anonymous says:

      The CEC Developers (ie the people who pitched the idea to McKeeva) are THE Authority. Everyone else is just window dressing.

  6. Anonymous says:

    i dont know, but i would prefer they turn the entire island into a special economic zone. that way i can finally live here not having to pay my indirect taxes. how is see it, everyone should be treated equally in the market, and you will see jobs :))

    • Anonymous says:

      So if you don't pay indirect taxes and you don't pay direct taxes how exactly would the govt. function? Don't you think its present budgetary problems would be mild by comparison? 

    • Anonymous says:

      they are trying to attract new industries that are not here yet.  If they waived WPs and other revenues and immigration controls for existing industries they would lose too much of their existing revenue base and risk public outcry .  Its an experiment that might not work, so they cant risk it.

  7. Interesting Read says:

    An interesting read from a BBC new's article by Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, an Indian Economic Analysis. States:

    "India's intention to set up a slew of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) is being vigorously opposed by an unlikely combination of interest groups.

    Politicians of the extreme left and right have joined with representatives of the International Monetary Fund and the head of India's Central Bank to oppose the SEZs.

    So why are they – and a wide cross-section of other people – so opposed to an initiative that on paper at least provides for special export-promoting industrial areas with superior infrastructure facilities and tax concessions?…


     SEZs has its goods and has its bads.

    We can learn alot from what is happening in Indian.

    • Anonymous says:

      The problem with the Indian model is that they will import cheap labor from India on a revolving door methodology to do remote support which will put a lot of people out of Jobs in a lot of different countries. I work in the IT industry in the US and have personally witnessed thousands of jobs being sent offshore to be done remotely in India where they pay people someone a fraction of what it would cost to hire someone in the US, Canada or UK to do the same Job and this is passed on to big Companies lowering their bottom line and making the Execs look good, it also frees up a lot of money for those big bonuses they get. Call support for any piece of hardware or software and see who answers. You will also notice that the level of customer support you get has drastically dropped since this has become the norm.

      I’m sure the IMF is looking at the big picture and realizing that if this keeps up it’s going to have a major effect on the worldwide economy and increase Joblessness which in turn will cost Governments money due to the loss of revenue from income tax and the fact that they will be the ones subsidizing the economy with unemployment and social benefits.

      • Anonymous says:

        This is nothing new. Money flows like water to the easiest route. Cheap labour follows the same effect. In slave times we brought cheap labour from Africa TO the work. Now we can export our work TO cheap labour. It will only get more prolific as it goes forward. Today the Indians and Chinese. Tomorrow the Africans…and so forth. It all changes and it all stays the same!

        All that is happening is a shuffle of the world’s base economy one more time. It has only been a 100 years since the ” industrial” nations have created the current economic base. A very short time in the world’s history.

        The sooner these industrial countries realize what is happening and rearrange their tax base and spending the better. The 20th century model went out the door with the Internet.. We need to do what we do best and can only do here and leave others to the cheap labour. It means concentrating on the local and the intellectual. Rearrange the tax bases and the regulations. Be a player or be dead!

      • Anonymous says:

        One way my lad to deal with this souring problem, is to tax the living day lights out of those companies that use corrupt governments to exploit other people and children in third world countries, and put those funds towards a just cause, such as repaying those people. Also, exempt taxes from companies that are looking out for the people, not exploiting them, and creating healthy jobs. In Cayman, we can do similar if we want more Caymanians employed. Simply dramatically lower Trade and Business License fees, Work Permit fees, by 50% if a company or business here at least have 50% of their employees, Caymanian, and are training them or seeing to their educational growth. Such an incentive right away will cause many employers to cry and say this is not fair, but trust me, is it fair to come here, benefit from Cayman, and dont give a rats ass for the people and culture here? Simple golden rule, but apparently it seems like our government is sold out to foreignors of wealth, white skin, and calibre. We people of the sun bow down our heads to any one coming from a big country, wears a neck tie, have pretty skin, and speak with an accent. We open our legs to people like this who has the money. They are not our gods!  They are human beings like us, yet we are willing to hand over your children, our pretty young girls to these people who are here only to a time being. It makes me want to throw up. We have good potential here and our leaders are not doing anything about it. Sorry for words like "white skin" and "pretty skin." I am not racist. I am tan myself, but I tell you, Cayman, we have to get out of this comfort zone, mindset of ours that people who come here in tuxedo is our friend and we ought to look up to them. We need to rise above colonialism when certain of our forefathers would wipe the Governors shoes and kiss the ground he walked on. Thank God there were men; especially men of the sea who had a true sense of humanity in them. Good traitsrubbed off on so many of us. But I think we are too complacent and given to favoritism. I am sorry but I have to tell it like it is. We put down our own Caymanian, because we are bought out and fail to see the potential in our own. There are vultures out there!  Wolves in sheeps clothing!  Handsome men and beautiful women not of our culture who work faster and are ambitious, but the lack the spirit, the soul of these islands, and we put them over our own people. Many who come here want to just make the buck and go after their thing and make their gain. I plead to our politicians to please work more on preserving our culture, our history, our environment, our youth, and our good name. Money is not everything. Our land is of more wealth than the papers you will ever find in an offshore entity. I know i drifted from the topic. 🙂

        • Anonymous says:

          One big isues Cayman has that's different is that the more expts there are the more money the CIG brings in. With no income taxes it there were less expats and more Caymanian employees that would mean less money to the government..

  8. JTB says:

    The cynicism on this site never ceases to amaze me.


    What is wrong with a development that brings in new investment, new employers, new business? Why is that a bad thing?

  9. Anonymous says:

    The Premier disclosed details of the site at his New Years address. 

  10. X Pat says:

    Who owns / controls CEC?

    • Anonymous says:

      Caymanians do.

      You see, while there are a great deal of people itching, complaining and looking for handouts, there are some very smart Caymanian investors, with initiative and foresight, pushing ahead on this venture. Because its private, there is no requirement to publish their progress. Don't let the politicians, trying to take credit for this venture, fool you into thinking they are involved.

      I wish the very bright and hard working people behind this initiative all the best. And I hope none of the naysayers look for jobs in this venture unless their attitudes change. People trying to build cant afford to hire people trying to destroy.



      • Anonymous says:

        Private with a lot of concessions by Government. Those of us who run businesses in Cayman bring business and employ Caymanians and pay through the nose to Government. And my business is Caymanian owned too. Remind me how is this fair? Oh is J Blick caymanian now or he not an owner?

        • Anonymous says:

          So are you saying that your business will refuse to trade with the zone or it’s tenants? Publish your name so that can be noted.

          • Anonymous says:

            i was of the impression that businesses in the zone couldnt trade with businesses in Cayman only outside of Cayman.  Secondly i was responding to the comment that the SEZ was a Caymanian owned business (which isnt really true if Blick is an owner) and thats why we shouldnt adversely comment.  The point that was being made was not that there should only be Caymanian investors but that those of us running businesses in Cayman, Caymanians or otherwise, shouldnt be nailed to the cross and forced to pay exorbitant Government fees whilst the owners of the Zone get huge concessions. 

            • Anonymous says:

              well your impression is wrong.  educate yourselfbefore typing.

              once again I ask you to post the name of your business so that zone companies can know to avoid you and your narrowminded way of doing business.

              • Anonymous says:

                "Cayman Enterprise City is a special economic zone enabled by Cayman Islands legislation passed last year. The law allows international businesses to operate within the zone, while not being permitted to trade in Cayman outside of the zone or compete with local businesses" From today's compass. Some honesty from those with an interest in CEC might be useful.

        • Anonymous says:

          Fair? Grow up.

        • Anonymous says:

          I dont know if blick is caymanian or not but the fact that you think only caymanians should be allowed to invest and make money is frightening!

    • Peter Milburn says:

      Certainly not us.Give you one guess though and you would be right.

    • Anonymous says:

      A very good question. I heard that the Hons, its former backers, have withdrawn. If that’s so, it’s in the public interest that Govt discloses its new ownership.

  11. B.B.L. Brown says:

    I hope I'm wrong but thi$ look$ like more wa$ted megabuck$ to me!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Reading this news leaves a lot of questions, to say the least.

    Has anyone done a detailed analysis of the economic benefits of the SEZ, its rules of operation, and exactly how it will benefit Cayman? Has such a study been released to the public?

    Who is Cayman Enterprise City and what is the source of its financing?

    Presumably, the Special Economic Zone Authority (SEZA is funded by Cayman's taxpayers. One question is why such a large Authority is needed. Was the first meeting last December open to the public and was anything reported about it??

    Is this not premature anyway since Cayman Enterprise City does not have a location?



    • so Anonymous says:

      It is being done the Caymankind way.  No regard for public input, no studys, no answers, etc. etc.  This is what Cayman is now.  It is what it has become.  Until it ultimately fails.  And becomes something else.

    • Theo says:

      your question has been asked already, get with the program, stand in line,arrivederhi,chao,sayonara.

    • Anonymous says:


      Has anyone done a detailed analysis of the economic benefits of the SEZ – Yes, KPMG

      its rules of operation – see the SEZ Law and you can analyze for yourself

      and exactly how it will benefit Cayman – Yes, KPMG and the senior civil service

      Has such a study been released to the public? – I don't know, but call CEC and ask them, they showed me the report.

      Who is Cayman Enterprise City and what is the source of its financing? not public info

      Presumably, the Special Economic Zone Authority (SEZA is funded by Cayman's taxpayers. – not really, its funded by fees paid to CIG from Zone Companies.

      One question is why such a large Authority is needed. – this will potentially be the third pillar of Cayman's economy.  Would you rather it not be regulated at all?  Really can't win with you bloggers.  You complain that there is no oversight, then complain about too much oversight.  yeesh.

      Was the first meeting last December open to the public and was anything reported about it?? – I don't believe it was open to the public, but is subject to FOI.

      Is this not premature anyway since Cayman Enterprise City does not have a location? – is what premature?  you have to have the laws, processes, and regulators in place before you launch something this massive.

      But really, these are all answers you could get yourself, you just feel like bitching cos its easier than working.

  13. Mr C says:

    So where is everything going  –   Dump? Port? Tech City? Cruise Ship Landing? My New House?

  14. Anonymous says:

    the city of smoke and mirrors…………

  15. Anonymous says:

    nice one!….all the concessions without a shovel in the ground…… someone just got played!

    • Anonymous says:

      So true.  Some of us local companies getting screwed with higher costs of operating and having to pay our indirect taxes, while others get special concessions to come here and set up business and pay no tax like the rest of us do.   Regular companies that the rest of us own, get no help from this Government.  Yet the rich Caymanians behind this project will make a whole lot of money, and the companies they bring here.  Caymankind for you.     Too many have nots, too many haves, and a huge divide in between, ensures the continuing deterioration we see in the society and it will not let up. Only when Cayman becomes a level playing field, will this place really grow and prosper, and see ALL of us enjoying a better economy, and not just some of the elite among us.