Net News article refuted

I write to correct several misrepresentations carried in the Cayman Net News article ‘Planning faces issues over future investment in East’ published on 13 November.

Rather than focus on comments attributed to our representative at a public meeting during World Town Planning Day and which were taken out of context, embellished, and misstated, I wish to address the underlying implications of the article.

Among the most worrying is that the Cayman Islands Investment Bureau and its staff may be pursuing foreign investment without due regard to local culture and concerns. In particular, I am most concerned that you have attributed to the CIIB any questioning of the wisdom of existing laws and regulations designed to protect the way of life that Caymanians desire.

Beyond that, I should also like to bring some balance to your article that appeared, perhaps inadvertently, to position the CIIB as placing emphasis on leveraging foreign investment.

Readers could thereby be forgiven for inferring mistaken notions of this agency’s focus.

The Investment Bureau is a government agency with the mandate to stimulate investment in the Cayman Islands economy.

As such, promoting local investment – and in particular, investment in the form of entrepreneurial activity by small, local businesses – are integral and central to our programmes and initiatives.

From the perspective of sustainable economic development, this is the only correct way to proceed.

The usefulness of foreign investment must be seen in the context of what it does for our economy and should only be relied upon to supplement local investment.

Foreign investment that crowds out or replaces local investment is not desired. Foreign investment that is detrimental to these islands should not be tolerated.

So aside from the fact that Net News misreported a hypothetical question that made no reference at all to any existing projects being dealt with by the Investment Bureau or the Go East initiative; it may have done us an additional disservice.

The Investment Bureau is actively working to promote sustainable economic development through an emphasis on supporting local businesses and via consultation with our communities and other relevant stakeholders.

Any suggestion that this agency is more interested in pursuing and supporting foreign investment without due consideration for the expressed needs and desires of residents is absolutely incorrect.

As such, it is diametrically opposed to the work that the Investment Bureau is conducting to advance the development of local businesses.

Dax Basdeo
Executive director
Cayman Islands Investment Bureau

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