Hong Kong welcomes Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands’ and Hong Kong’s business elite gathered for a reception to celebrate the opening of the Cayman Islands Investment Bureau’s Hong Kong office Tuesday at the Mandarin Oriental.

The CIIB Hong Kong Office joins a network of Investment Bureau offices in Grand Cayman and London, and a satellite office in New York, in helping to drive and facilitate two-way investment in and from the Cayman Islands.

McKeeva Bush, Cayman Islands Leader of Government Business, delivered a keynote address at the reception, welcoming guests from the business and government communities of Hong Kong and Cayman, states a GIS press release.

“The Cayman Islands and Hong Kong have a great deal in common and it is essential that Cayman has a presence in such an important world city. My vision is that the Investment Bureau will be the key facilitator in the investment process: it will provide a single point of contact to address the needs of potential investors and an important source of information about the Cayman Islands.

“Going forward, we will build on our modern physical, technological and professional infrastructure to further expand and complement our strengths in service-related sectors such as financial services and tourism. With the global shift in foreign investment towards services, the Cayman Islands is ideally positioned to diversify into technology and e-business related areas. In addition to these sectors, we also welcome investors pursuing innovative business models that will broaden the economic base of the Cayman Islands.”

Mr. Mike Rowse, Director-General of Investment Promotion at Invest HK welcomed the Cayman Islands Investment Bureau to Hong Kong said “We are delighted that the Cayman Islands have chosen to come to Hong Kong. We extend a warm welcome and wish you a good start and every success in Hong Kong and the region.”

Mr. Dax Basdeo, Executive Director of the Cayman Islands Investment Bureau joined Minister Bush at the reception in Hong Kong.

“The opening of the Hong Kong office marks another important step in the development of infrastructure to help drive investment to Cayman from key global markets,” he said.

The Cayman Islands offers investors the highest international standards of business and communications infrastructure. An educated and highly skilled workforce combines with a positive business environment to offer a world-class package. Local expertise is balanced by a high quality legal and regulatory system, a high quality of life and political, economic and social stability.

There are no income, capital gains or property taxes in the Cayman Islands and the business environment is particularly well-adapted to the requirements of the international financial services industry. Building on 40 years of steady growth, the Cayman Islands financial services industry continues to be one of the top ranked in the world, in terms of both quality, and assets under management. The industry encompasses banking, trust services, mutual funds, insurance, vessel registration, capital markets products and the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange.

80 percent of the world’s hedge funds are registered in the Cayman Islands, with 2004 seeing a significant increase in investments by Asian institutional investors through Cayman-based investment funds. Over the last five years, the number of Asian hedge funds have grown from 162 funds managing US$13.8 billion in 1999 to more than 500 funds managing over US$59 billion. In an exciting new development, a Caymanian law firm last year advised on the creation of the first hedge fund in which a Chinese securities firm played a role.

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