Increasing its focus on Latin America and other emerging markets, the Cayman Islands government is working closely with industry partners to promote the jurisdiction’s product and service offerings.
In late September, the Ministry of Finance participated in the Offshore Investment Funds Summit in São Paolo, Brazil, hosted by dms Management. Chief Officer for Financial Services Dax Basdeo gave opening remarks, informing attendees of legislative, international cooperation and economic development updates in the Cayman Islands financial services industry.
Legislative updates included the Companies Law (Amendment) 2011, the Mutual Funds Law and the Securities Investment Business (Amendment) Law 2011 and the Terrorism (Amendment) Law 2011.
On the international cooperation side, the adoption of the Cayman Islands’ supplementary report by the Global Forum is particularly important, as the jurisdiction aims to increase its transparency and expand its network of information exchange with international counterparts.
The Global Forum’s adoption of the report confirms that the Cayman Islands is fully compliant with all nine essential elements of international tax transparency and exchange of information standards, as set out in Phase 1 of the Global Forum Peer Group Reviews.
The supplementary report also noted Cayman’s continued development of its information-exchange network, through the signing of tax information exchange agreements. Cayman has signed TIEAs with 25 jurisdictions, most recently with China in late September. Another seven are in negotiation.
Continuing its focus on economic development, the Ministry of Finance has made progress with establishing a special economic zone, having recently signed an agreement with Cayman Enterprise City Ltd. (CEC) to commence construction in Q1 of 2012. The agreement allows the developer the exclusive right to construct, develop, operate and maintain a special economic zone, intended to attract global science, technology, media, and educational entities to the Cayman Islands.
With the intention of bridging the gaps between time zones and continents, CEC also will provide infrastructure for a global, centralised commodities and derivatives market. Services will include supply-chain management, efficient governance and international best practice for products and services including physical commodities, financial markets, and ETFs and derivatives.
Government is now establishing the legislative framework for CEC to operate. This legislation will also allow the accommodation of additional SEZs, provided they do not compete with CEC.
The Cayman Islands government remains committed to upholding the stability, quality and integrity of the financial services sector, and will continue to collaborate with private-sector partners and key agencies to ensure the jurisdiction stays at the forefront of global markets.