Business conference outlook good

Interest is high for the third Cayman Business Outlook, to be held 18 January at The Ritz-Carlton.

‘More people have registered this year at this stage than in previous years,’ explained Tom Gammage, regional marketing manager for Fidelity Bank, organiser of the conference.

In 2005, about 300 people attended the conference.

This year’s theme is Outsourcing, Offshoring and the Web-enabled Global Workforce: How will these trends impact small island nations?

Mr. Gammage pointed out the importance of looking at the global picture while considering the needs of Cayman.

‘This is the first business conference of the year. It provides an opportunity for the business community to meet together in both a business and social setting to listen to knowledgeable speakers on a global theme with relevance to the Cayman Islands,’ he said.

The theme will address the changing face of business brought on by technological advancements that allow countries like India and China to join the global workforce at a fraction of the cost incurred in the developed world.

Brett Hill, president and CEO of Fidelity, elaborated on this idea.

‘Attendees will learn that the days of an entirely local workforce are long gone. As communications technology improves, the appeal of the highly qualified, inexpensively contracted Asian workforce has become difficult to ignore.

‘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,’ Mr. Hill said.

The speakers who will be addressing the conference are Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts; Vincent Vanderpool Wallace, secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Association; Richard W. Rahn, director general of the Centre for Global Economic Growth and board director of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority; Sophia Harris, director of the Immigration and Planning Board; and Ted C. Fishman, author of China Inc.

Mr. Tibbetts will be giving the opening address.

‘We invited the leader of government business to talk about the theme and the government’s plans for the year. It is a good opportunity to let everyone know in a public forum like this,’ Mr. Gammage said.

The speakers will discuss other issues important to Cayman, he added.

‘We will be covering the two pillars of the Cayman economy – the financial services and tourism,’ Mr. Gammage said.

To register online for the conference, which costs CI$175, go to Registration will also be possible the day of the conference, starting at 7am, with the official opening at 8.15am. For more information, call Gwenda McLean at 949-7822, ext 2311.

In addition to being organised and presented by Fidelity, the conference is sponsored by Admiral Administration, Campbells, Cayman Free Press, Consolidated Water Company Limited, CUC, Digicel, Five Continents Financial, PriceWaterCoopers, The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, and RoyalStarAssurance.