OTs & UK agree way forward

| 27/11/2013

(CNS): Leaders from the overseas territories have agreed the way forward with the British government on a number of pressing issues, from economic diversity to crime fighting, following a two-day meeting in London that ended Wednesday. A communique from the London summit published by the FCO revealed that the Caribbean territories have signed an MOU to share police support when needed. The territories also received a commitment from the UK for support over and above law enforcement resources to help tackle violent crime. The territories also agreed to fight tax evasion, simplify and improve immigration laws and focus on economic diversification.

“We believe that the global economy is changing quickly, creating both uncertainty and opportunities for us all,” the OT leaders said in the communique. “At this, our second meeting, we focused on action to support economic diversification, jobs and economic growth.”

As a small but powerful lobby in Cayman continues to try and undermine efforts by the CIG to pass the National Conservation Law, the communique demonstrates that the UK is expecting all of the territories to enact protective legislation that will see them meet their environmental commitments before May next year. It also commits the UK to ensure the continuation of relevant funding programmes for the overseas territories environment, conservation, biodiversity and climate-related projects.

The NCL will ensure that Cayman meets a number of international obligations and treaties and deals with the UK’s goal to preserve the rich environmental assets of the Territories, which include an estimated 90% of the biodiversity found within the UK and the Territories combined.

The OTs have also agreed to put in place "robust and reliable extradition arrangements” by extending  the 2003 Extradition Act and to take advantage of the expertise of the UK Ministry of Justice, National Offender Management Service and HM Prison Service to progress alternatives to custody, prison reform, restorative justice and protection of vulnerable witnesses.

The leaders have all agreed that they believe the people of all overseas territories have a right to determine their own futures and to maintain freely their constitutional link with the UK but affirmed their commitment to shared values, high standards of governance and building a stronger partnership with the UK.

“Any decision to break the constitutional link should be on the basis of the clear and constitutionally expressed wish of the people of the Territory. We believe that the UN Decolonisation Committee should delist Territories where this is their wish,” the leaders stated.

Welcoming the increasing engagement of the UK Parliament and their support for the territories, the leaders expressed a determination to continue to work in partnership.

The OT minister Mark Simmonds expressed his view of the meeting: "There was a real sense of progress towards our shared ambition for the territories as vibrant and flourishing communities. We are working together to support economic growth and job creation and to demonstrate that the territories are among the best places in the worldto do business," he said.

Simmonds will also open a major UK-Overseas Territories Business Forum in London tomorrow to promote investment opportunities between the OTs and UK business.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday night the Cayman Islands premier began promoting the country at a special dinner for current and potential future Friends of in an effort to inspire investment.

“Our strategy is to foster an environment that facilitates private sector growth, employ prudent fiscal management within the public sector, further develop an educated and work-ready populace and continue the development and modernisation of Cayman’s infrastructure,” Alden McLaughlin said.

Delivering the message about the diversification into medical tourism with Dr Devi Shetty’s Health City, the plans for cruise berthing and airport upgrades as well as the continued strength of the financial services industry. McLaughlin pointed to legislation and international agreements that prove the Cayman Islands continues to perform in developing globally accepted standards. “Tackling tax evasion and fraud is a global responsibility in which Cayman will continue to play a part,” he said.

The premier told the audience about Cayman’s unique tourism products and the country’s appreciation to protect and conserve its environment, telling them that the long-awaited National Conservation Bill has been tabled in the Legislative Assembly and is scheduled to be debated before the year’s end.

“In Cayman we recognise that we must do all that we can to protect the environment on all three Islands to ensure that we preserve paradise for future generations of residents and tourists alike,” he said.

See OT Communique and McLaughlin’s dinner presentation below

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Nobody is saying that, least of all the writer of the comment.  He is simply pointing out that the government's militant approach to unemployment and immigration is conflicting with its stated aim of growing the economy (while not actually reducing unemployment!).

  2. Cayman Concern says:

    the writer who is Pro work permits is so completely wrong!!! I keep hearing stories of qualified experience community minded degreed Caymanians who are denied permits in favor of the best qualified expat!! Of course we will find the very best in the field if we look amongst a 2 billion person population… But that is not our law and there are many hard-working locals who have gone out got the education paid their dues who are still being passed over.  Recently it is been the government who has been the most blatantly at fault!!


    Govt has to get its house, departments, and authorities in order first! 

    Dont even get me started about the deserving law school graduates that can't break into a law firm at any level or the dozens of IT managers who are passed over by the banks.

    We could always find an overachiever to come for the tax free sun, but to solve our social problems we need to go back. (20 years when we actually had ethics) to hiring and training Caymanians.

    the goal is zero unemployment not work permit protection!!

    • Anonymous says:

      How many times does it need to be said?  Declining a work permit does not necessarily create a job for a Caymanian.  Most of the time it just destroys a job.

      If a truly willing and able Caymanian has applied then of course they should be given the job.  And why would the employer object?  That is not the issue.  The issue is that immigration is declining work permits willy nilly assuming that Caymanians will be hired even when none has applied.

      In order to grow the economy, you need to create new jobs.  But you cannot create jobs while requiring them to be filled by unemployed Caymanians.  There is a reason most of those people are unemployed.  Even the Minister of Employment said they were "unemployable".  If you insist every job is filled by a Caymanian, all that happens is that companies pay more and more to poach the ones already employed from other companies.  Who is that benefiting?  The Caymanian being overpaid?  Only till they lose their job because the company can't afford them or moves it overseas to somewhere they can pay a realistic salary.

      In order to create a job you need to let the employers choose who fills it.  If you do not allow them to do that here, the job will not be created here.  It will be created somewhere else, where the employer CAN choose.  End of story.

      If you want a system where the government dictates who works in what job, go live in Cuba.  


      • Anonymous says:

        I am so tired of hearing this yarn. The recent revelations regarding recruitment by ICTA is indicative of what generally happens in the private sector.  In many cases employers actively seek to evade the requirements of the Immigration Law in order to employ an expat.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Zero unemployment = large increase in inflation = large increase in cost of living = start of very vicious cycle.  Be careful what you wish for.

      • Anonymous says:

        What are you talking about zero unemployment= large increase in inflation and increase of living.  Coming of age in the late 1980 there was no unemployment in these islands and prices were much less than now salaries were much higher and cost of living lower.  Cayman began to experience inflation and a substantial increase in living as a result of cheap labour and unemployment.  I am not against expats coming here to work because Caynan has always welcomed foreign labour.  I am however against bringing expats in from third world countries and paying them below a livable wage and expecting locals to do the same with the same expectations.  Human rights need to come down on the employees (landlords) who recruit people here to work for $3-4 per hour (cost of a gallon of milk) and live 20 to a house (5 adults to a room).  Cayman Is suffering as a result of greed, this is why things will never get better until the policies change.  We complain about the robbries committed by the youth why not talk about the robbries being committed daily by employees that pay their employees below poverty wages and those that deduct pensions and don't pay them in. Yes and what about the individuals that make their workers pay for their own permits and have to pay then at the end of every week or month to stay here.  Everyone knows about this yet the government pretends that it does not happen.  Corruption has become rampant in Cayman now and until someone is willing to stand up and blow the lid off corruption Cayman will only get worst.

  3. Anonymously says:

    We wantmore but is not willing to make the necessary sacrifices… Taxes soon come 

    • Anonymously says:

      The Premier should enact legislation that in order for anyone to be able to vote for independence from the UK they must be able to prove that they were born in Cayman of at least one Caymanian great and grandparent.  The future of Cayman should not be determined by anyone other than the native Caymanian and their descendants.

      • Cayman aha. says:

        What about me? 7 generations Caymanian here before me, but I was born in Miami then schooled in England. I have traveled the world – over 30 nations and worked in over six different (independent) Caribbean countries. I am Caymanian, well educated and traveled, but you think that only the homegrown xenophobic locals should be able to vote? Your close minded / only live on this rock attitude is fuel for the local politicians. You have been drinking Ezzards kool aide.  The educated and traveled among us will agree that ONLY politicians benefit from Independence and not even one Caribbean country can say they are better off after leaving mother Spain, England, or France.  Do your research before you spout suchxenophobic dribble please.  I thought we were done with the days of Mac and his fiefdom?  


        • Anonymous says:

          I have to chuckle everytime I see ignorant people on here accusing Caymanians of "xenophobic dribble" when they speak their opinion about the welfare of their country. Yet those same people do not hesitate to attempt to force their vacant, ill-conceived ideas that are drenched in self gain upon everyone. smh

  4. Anonymous says:

    Is that two bottles of white rum in the photo?

    • Anonymous says:

      White Rum ! or White Cool aid ?

    • Anonymously says:

      There are two bottles of water and two of Cayman's finest attorneys-at-law or should I say retired Partners of law firms.  As you know these fine gentlemen can understand anything that is being put forward to them without selling the country down the tube these men were needed in government well over 20 years ago and we would have stayed on the right path and maintained the standard of living that we had 20 to 25 years ago.

      • And AnotherTing says:

        Their being there 20 to 25 years ago, we would have been worse off. Those were the times when the country had money  and knowing their penchant to spend in good times; remember their last administration?.  Anyone can appear to be frugal when their hands are tied. And another Ting.

  5. And AnotherTing says:

    Maybe the uk will send its dock builders to build the Port. And Another Ting.

  6. Anonymous says:

    As if PPM would disagree with wherever the UK wants to take us.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Whenever I read about the current government's desire to grow the Cayman Islands economy and create jobs I nearly wet my pants laughing.

    So far all this government has done to the economy is throttle it by destroying 1,200 jobs and making it impossible to hire anyone other than an unemployed Caymanian without the prerequisite skills, or a Caymanian that is already employed but fancies a pay rise (who doesn't!).  

    Oh, and business is just thrilled to read about jack-booted enforcement squads that will be descending on them at any moment demanding to see HR files to make sure the business is "doing everything it can to hire Caymanians", as if that hadn't already been amply demonstrated in the work permit application, or the mere fact one was required!  (What business would not want to save an arm and a leg on a work permit fee if a remotely suitable Caymanian was available?!)

    If the government wants to create jobs, it needs to let the private sector hire the people it wants to hire, be they Caymanian or otherwise.  The alternative to hiring someone you want to hire is  to hire no one at all.  

    We saw the effects of this brand of "economic policy" during the last PPM administration during which several large companies moved in whole or in part to other countries where they were welcomed with open arms and open check-books.

    To be fair to Alden's speech-writer, declining work permits left and right is creating jobs, just not in Cayman!


    • Anonymous says:

      Every business that already has expats in the positions being applied for dummy, and that is just the start of where Caymanians are often unfairly overlooked for roles.

      • Anonymous says:

        Chamber of Commerce Members and White Collar Execs are the worst offenders for not hiring locals.  Shame on them and their fat pay cheques!!!

        Charlie Kirkconnell and the Business Staffing Board had better live up to their tasks.  If a qualified Caymanian applies and can succeed in that job (via mentoring by the existing permit holder) then DO YOUR JOB on those Boards and be ethical – no listening to your cronies! And DENY the permit application!! 

        Until we go back and enforce our own law – every employer is at fault.



    • Anonymous says:

      You are one of those broken-wing birds that arrive on our shores with one feather, who has grown feathers and want to dominate and claim the entire workplace for your own.  If Cayman is for the world at large and the indigenous people are only entitled to the crumbs, how you would feel if that was the meal you would be served in your own country.

      isnt life, work and money, more accessible to you in the Cayman Islands.  Stop putting the locals down and be grateful you could come here, be welcomed, work and live the life that wasn't afforded you in your own country, but to the disadvantage of all of us. 

      • Anonymous says:

        How is it putting Caymanians down to say that companies should be able to hire a person they want?

        • Anonymous says:

          Because it is against the law

        • Anonymous says:

          Caymanians are the eligible voters in this country and as a mark of respect, the Government should intervene, if a Caymanian is qualified to hold a job, to enure the Caymabnian s given preference. In Canada an England, I am sure their nationals ae given first preference for jobs.



      • Anonymous says:

        Ancient Finnish proverb : A broken-winged bird is best looking to live with the wingless birds.

    • Anonymously says:

      Not to worry It seems as if Cayman is fast on its way of becoming undesirable to expats and locals.  Crime will chase away the expats and unemployment will send the qualified endangered locals overseas this way the green iguanas and the new Caymanians will be left in full control. 

  8. Hear, hear - says:

    Hear hear.  Together we will succeed and stand alone we will fail.  Ya hear THAT Mr. (I want Independence to create my own power) Ezzard Miller?  The PEOPLE know that going it alone only leads to politcal corruption and greed and their is strength in numbers and weakness in Division.

    Put THIS in your pipe and smoke it Mr. Miller…we want better governments, less government greed, and best practices, not yours (or at the other end of the island: Big Mac's) personal fiefdoms. 

    "Any decision to break the constitutional link should be on the basis of the clear and constitutionally expressed wish of the people of the Territory."

    We the people have spoken.  We have elected you, now listen to your voters please.