Sidebar Information:Primary player in all things financial
It’s all about reputation.
That’s what the Cayman Islands has to maintain to withstand these rough and tumble economic times, members of the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce heard from Cayman Island Governor Stuart Jack earlier this year.
It’s a mandate the Chamber clearly understands and supports in its mission statement to:
- To promote and protect the trade, business, commerce, agriculture, industries and manufacturers and public welfare in the Cayman Islands;
- To consider, discuss and take action on questions directly or indirectly relating to or affecting such trade, business, commerce, agriculture, industries and manufacturers and public welfare in the Cayman Islands;
- To collect and disseminate information concerning business and the public welfare;
- To promote, approve or oppose legislation and other measures affecting business and the public welfare;
- To act as arbitrators or set up machinery for arbitration in commercial disputes
“The Cayman Chamber is part of a global network of businesses that can open doors for its members to the world for investment and opportunity. A key role of the Chamber is also to facilitate inward investment and trade. The Cayman Islands ranks among the leading jurisdictions in the region for attracting foreign direct investment because of our excellent infrastructure, political stability, low crime rate and world-class regulatory and judicial systems and business-friendly legislation,” says Chamber President Stuart Bostock.
The Chamber works closely with all industry associations through its Council of Associations. This group of senior industry leaders representing all of the major industry associations discusses macro-socio economic issues and develops pro-active strategies to share with Government that helps to create an environment that protects the unique quality of life for Caymanians and residents while at the same time promotes international investment and business growth.
In his talk to Chamber members, Governor Jack set out why he is optimistic about Cayman’s future: solid and reliable rules and judiciary; world class accountants, auditors and attorneys; many first rate companies in all sectors; and beautiful islands that people want to live in and visit.
The Governor’s recipe for success as a financial centre is for Cayman to be seen as part of the solution, not part of the problem. Only by being seen to embrace change enthusiastically, can Cayman hope to soften any adverse impact, and position itself to take advantage of any new opportunities.
“We have solid and reliable laws and judiciary. We have world-class accountants, auditors and attorneys. For a small country, we have first rate businesses across different sectors, as illustrated by the people here today. We have beautiful islands that people want to live in and visit. I am optimistic about the future,” the Governor said. “That includes the financial services industry. Over the last few months that industry worldwide has been going through extraordinary times. We are already feeling the effects here in Cayman though probably not yet to the full extent. We cannot expect to continue as we are, nor to resume where we were once the good times return. We must not despair, we must not take panic measures, but we must not underestimate the challenges.
“In particular, we have to adapt to the emerging emphasis on transparency. Cayman now has a good record on anti-money laundering and, in practice, on cooperating with other jurisdictions, notably the US, on criminal tax matters. But we need to get that message across more clearly. Cayman must seek to conclude tax information exchange agreements with more countries, including the UK – Government is now working actively on this. And we should look again at any practices or laws that reinforce preconceptions about excessive secrecy, such as the Confidential Relationships Preservation Law, while accelerating work on data protection legislation,” he said.
Programmes launched for the benefit of the membership and the community by the chamber over the years includes the Chamber Pension Plan, the country’s first multi-employer plan; the Business Expo, the country’s first and largest annual trade show; Business After Hours, a networking and business development event; www.caymanchamber.ky, the islands’ first full service association website and business directory; Buy Caymanian initiative; the Professional Development and Training Centre; the Better Business Council; Mentoring Cayman; Cayman Crime Stoppers; Earth Day Roadside Clean-up; Put Drugs Out of Business; trade missions to Costa Rica and Panama and representation at trade shows and promotional events around the world. The chamber is a major supporter of Rotary Central’s Junior Achievement programme and has provided administrative, advisory and office support since 1997.