Conference Review: Economic Forum 2019
Yesterday I attended the Chamber of Commerce 2019 Economic Forum at the Kimpton Seafire. It was hands down one of the best conferences I’ve been to in Cayman. So well organised and informative. Kudos to the Chamber for getting excellent speakers (including sitting Government Ministers), having a clear and enjoyable format, and bringing together a great mix of representative businesses from the local community to attend the event. There were too many highlights to mention (I was attempting to tweet and do stories at the same time); but here are a selection…
It’s happening folks. Get prepared! This is nothing that isn’t already in place in compliant countries elsewhere across the globe and is essential for Cayman to operate. Basically, it can only be good for business.
The Hon Roy McTaggart spelled it all out. So where to start? Well firstly GDP growth in 2018 was 3.4% and on average it’s increased by 3% over the past 5 years. These islands are booming right now! Did you know the Financial Services/ Insurance sector accounts for 31%?
Rosa Harris of the Department of Tourism gave a wonderfully informative presentation. The DOT showed the sector is soaring (record-breaking numbers of visitors are coming to Cayman – 40,501 in May 2019)! Also they are really shaking up their marketing strategy, moving into new markets (namely China but also within Europe) and promoting Cayman as a tourist destination – and not just one for business.
We all waited with baited breath for this one. WORC Director Sharon Roulstone gave a clear and honest overview of the situation. In a nutshell they have two new systems on the way. It looks likely WORC will get through the Legislative Assembly by the Autumn and will undoubtedly be welcome news to employers and employees alike (Caymanians and work permit holders). Transparent process and ONLINE! Music to everyone’s ears. Some of the new work permit application features:
- Online registration for companies and Caymanians
- No more newspaper advertising
- No more full medicals and chest X-Rays
- No more police clearance certs
- No more Boards
Population Growth to 100,000:
Diverse views here and some thoughts about what we need to be mindful of (increase in crime, the need for solid infrastructure, improved schooling system, lower income housing, transportation etc.) There was positivity all around regarding Cayman’s place in the global economy and how well we are positioned for the future. I’m sure everyone agrees Cayman punches far above its weight!
I wrote pages of notes but these are my high level takeaways. I hope you find them informative if you couldn’t be there.
Anyone privileged enough to live on these Islands should be very hopeful about their prospects and life here in the coming years. It’s an exciting time for us all (businesses and individuals alike). I came out of the conference buoyed up by the content and looking forward to the years to come. As a start-up business on island The Agency is really excited to be a part of Cayman’s bright future!