Outsourcing focus of Business Outlook

Outsourcing, Offshoring and the Web-enabled Global Workforce – How will these trends impact small island nations? That’s the theme for Cayman Business Outlook 2006, which will be held at the Ritz-Carlton on Wednesday, 18 January.

The theme will highlight and tackle the new reality brought into play by the massive investment in broadband infrastructure and new advances in technology that are bringing millions of highly educated and skilled people from India and China into the global workforce at a fraction of the cost incurred in the developed world, said a press release from Fidelity, conference organizer.

This steady trickle of job outflow from developed nations is likely to become a torrent, eventually resulting in the transfer of power and wealth to India and China, the two primary beneficiaries of this trend, the release said.

Keynote speaker Ted Fishman, author of the best selling China Inc. will present the facts and explain the effect globally of the emergence of these new super powers in the Asian block.

Now in its third year, the conference has become a popular New Year’s fixture on the businesspersons’ calendar. It is organized and presented by Fidelity and co-sponsored by Admiral Administration, Campbell’s, Cayman Free Press, Consolidated Water Company Limited, CUC, Digicel, Five Continents Financial, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, the Ritz-Carlton and RoyalStar Assurance.

Cayman Business Outlook facilitates an opportunity for Cayman’s business community and members of various government agencies to gather in a business and social setting at the beginning of each New Year to listen to knowledgeable speakers on a global theme relevant to the Cayman Islands.

Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts will give the opening address and is expected to provide attendees with an overview of his government’s plans for 2006.

Other top speakers include Vincent Vanderpool Wallace, the Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Association; Richard W. Rahn, Director General, Centre for Global Economic Growth and Board Director, Cayman Islands Monetary Authority; Sophia Harris, Director, Immigration and Planning Board and Keynote Speaker Ted C. Fishman, veteran journalist and best-selling author of China Inc. The conference, which includes lunch, ends with a Ritz-Carlton Cocktail Party for all registered delegates.

CBO is the premier business networking and conference event of the New Year and attracts in the region of 300 attendees.

As this year’s theme implies, the conference aims to turn attendees’ attention toward the global economy, and the opportunities and threats now faced by small island nations as outsourcing and offshoring trends impact high cost jurisdictions such as the Cayman Islands, the release said.

The question being raised is: without a conscious effort to retool and reengineer our economies, will the sheer size of the labour force in India and China, coupled with their rapid growth in intellectual capital and low cost high productivity, overwhelm us?

J. Sunderji, Fidelity’s Chairman and CEO said, ‘The cost and efficiency benefits of outsourced labour in another time zone are undeniable, particularly in places like Cayman, where demand for professional skills far outstrips supply. The significant advances in broadband technology and the rapid decline in communication costs are bringing into our backyard tens of millions of skilled workers who will compete with our nationals for white collar jobs.

‘The entry barriers of work permits and other similar impediments traditionally deployed to protect jobs will be swept away by this technology tide, and the appeal of a highly-qualified, inexpensively contracted Asian workforce will become difficult to ignore. All indicators point to China and India becoming the world’s next economic superpowers.

‘The question for Caribbean Islands must then be – how do we adapt to an increasingly globalized business environment, and use its features to our advantage?’

Register to Cayman Business Outlook 2006 at www.caymanbusinessoutlook.com or call 949-7822, Ext 231.

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