In January 2011, Premier McKeeva Bush announced he’d signed
a memorandum of understanding with Hon Cayman Properties to create a
knowledge-based special economic zone on Grand Cayman called Cayman Enterprise
Hon tapped Jason Blick, a
trained solicitor with more than 10 years experience working with special
economic zones in the Middle East and Asia, as its chief executive officer.
Blick believes Cayman Enterprise City can become one of the most important
special economic zones in the region.
Although the campuses in Cayman Enterprise
City will be modelled – albeit on a smaller scale – on the special economic
zones in Dubai, Blick says there are important differences.
City takes the existing special economic zone model one step further – to
create the best knowledge based SEZ in the world,” he says, adding that Cayman’s
location and proven financial capabilities are also important.
will be the only zone of its kind in the Americas region and is located in a
safe, English speaking, British Overseas Territory only one hour from Miami and
three hours’ direct flight from New York City.”
Cayman’s location in
the Caribbean will offer easy access not only to North America, but to
important emerging markets in South America, Blick said.
appreciate the advantage of doing business from Cayman, which is on Eastern
Standard Time, whereas other zones located in the Middle East or Far East
suffer from the disadvantage of being on different times zones, which can be an
impediment to business.”
Enterprise City will consist of five campuses – Internet City, Media City,
Commodities and Derivatives Exchange, Academic Park, and Biotechnology Park –
along with an outsourcing centre. When combined, Blick says the offering is
unique among special economic zones.
put, this is the first time anywhere in the world where five particular and
very different industry-specific campuses have been located together in one
zone,” he said. “We intend for CEC to become the leading high-tech intellectual
knowledge based zone in the Western Hemisphere.”
incorporated in the Cayman Islands already enjoy a number of benefits,
including no corporate tax, no capital gains tax, 100 per cent repatriation of
capital and profits, and no currency restrictions.
Blick says there will be additional benefits for companies located within
Cayman Enterprise City that aren’t available otherwise.
the Cayman Islands has always welcomed foreign direct investment, many
organisations have found the incorporation process and ownership restrictions
unsuitable for their operations,” he says. “Cayman Enterprise City provides for
100 per cent foreign ownership, a streamlined and efficient incorporation
process and a wealth of financial benefits that are not available elsewhere.”
the other financial and business-facilitating benefits that Cayman Enterprise
City will offer are low, flat-rate work permit fees and efficient registration
addition, Blick says Cayman offers quality of life benefits.
research has determined that lifestyle is very important to the high-ranking
executives who fill the top posts within these high-tech firms and Fortune 500
companies,” he says. “Cayman’s high standard of living, incredible climate and
cosmopolitan lifestyle are very appealing.”
says Cayman Enterprise City’s goal is to attract a limited numbers of
high-quality new businesses to the Cayman Islands.
solely focusing on the specific industry clusters… we can attract some of the
world’s leading brands to the shores of the Cayman Islands,” he says. “Due to
our limited capacity and desire to keep Cayman Enterprise City a small and
high-end focused SEZ, our target audience will be focused on Fortune 500
companies, up-and-coming media and Internet companies, large pharmaceutical
brands, commodity and derivative traders and the like – all sectors that
currently have little or no presence in Cayman.”
on space and availability, Blick says Cayman Enterprise City will also consider
requests from smaller companies.
the five Cayman Enterprise City campuses will feature 500,000 square feet of
Class A office space, enough to base approximately 1,000 companies in Cayman
demand to be established in Cayman Enterprise City is already there, Blick
“We have already been approached from
companies all over the world particularly those which already have a presence
in an SEZ, but see the benefits of relocating to the Cayman Islands,” he says.
“All indications from the outreach to potential clients that we have already undertaken
has led us to firmly believe that demand will far exceed the supply of
Enterprise City will be small in comparison with other special economic zones
in the world, meaning the developers will “choose only most ideal clientele for
our zone”, Blick says.
getting in contact with CEC earlier rather than later would be Ideal for any
company wishing to base themselves in Cayman Enterprise City.
Enterprise City will assist companies wishing to establish in Cayman get
situated, Blick says.
carefully chosen team of experts will ‘hold the hand’ of each company to ensure
that they have a seamless and smooth transition,” he says, adding that there
will be many other local companies that can help as well.
“Our local Cayman team led by Cindy O’Hara
believes in working closely with existing local companies,” he says. “We will
be reaching out to exiting local service providers such as law firms and
company management firms that can establish companies in Cayman for our
clients. We will be working with local recruitment agencies to assist our
incoming clients with finding their local staff. We will also be working with
local realtors and rental agencies to find homes for our tenants and with local
moving companies to assist our clients with their moves.”
In a time when some
businesses are hesitant about establishing in offshore financial centre
jurisdictions because of perception of them being tax havens, Blick says
special economic zones in particular enjoy the stamp of approval by
“We see this almost
as the panacea that companies have been looking for: A legal, legitimate way to
enjoy major tax benefits that fall within the Organisation for Economic
Cooperation and Development’s approved model,” he says, adding that it will be
beneficial to the companies seeking to relocate as well as to the Cayman
Islands’ overall standing in the global market.
The developer will
earn a return on Cayman Enterprise City through the rental of office space and
through services offered to tenants.
invest significant funds into a country they do, for understandable reasons,
expect a positive return on their investment,” Blick says, noting that there
are also many benefits to the Cayman Islands.
“CEC is an opportunity for Cayman to diversify
its economy and introduce an entire new third pillar,” he says. “It’s an
opportunity for Cayman and Caymanians to benefit from thousands of new careers,
many of which will be in entirely new fields that don’t yet exist in Cayman.”
City’s Academic Park will also offer more academic opportunities for Caymanians
without having to go overseas.
“To further the
benefits to Cayman and Caymanians we are in talks with several local Caymanian
developers discussing opportunities for them to develop residential offerings
to those who will work within the zone,” Blick said. “Our focus is to ensure
that everyone concerned gets the best out of this project inclusive of our
investors, our clients and the Cayman Islands and its people.”
Enterprise City has set a goal of having 20 per cent of its jobs held by
Caymanians, it will also import high-income professionals from overseas who
will create economic activity by spending money with local merchants.
For more information contact:
Chief Executive Officer
Cayman Enterprise City
T. +1 (345) 945 3722
E. [email protected]