Open for Business

On behalf of the membership, the Chamber Council and I congratulate the new Government on their recent election victory. The peaceful transition in power demonstrates one of the reasons the Cayman Islands is recognised as a politically stable and attractive destination in the region to conduct business and to live. We look forward to meeting regularly with the new Government and working collaboratively and constructively to support, promote and protect the interests of our members and the wider community.
 
The new Government will have little time to relish their victory. The Islands are experiencing the full impact of the global economic slowdown and the Government’s first priority will be to address the record deficit as a matter of priority. Restoring consumer and investor confidence in the financial services and development sectors and attracting more visitors to our shores are key areas that will generate inward investment. We believe this can be achieved by championing an Open for Business policy agenda, which will demonstrate to the world that the Cayman Islands remain an attractive and inviting place that offers a solid return on investment. 
 
Earlier this year when I assumed the office of President I met with the leaders of the various industry associations who serve on the Council of Associations. Each association was invited to communicate the state of their sector and to submit a least five short, medium and long term proposals that could improve the business climate.  In total, more than 75 recommendations were submitted for the tourism, financial services, real estate, construction, development and retail sectors. These recommendations will be shared with Government during upcoming meetings. Some of the proposals are similar in nature to the list that was developed by the Chamber under the leadership of Past President Mr. W. Burns Conolly following the economic slowdown after 9/11.
 
Underpinning the recommendations is the call from the business community for Government to improve its systems and to reduce the level of bureaucracy, modernise policies and laws dealing with investment, entrepreneurship and development and addressing the long term human capital needs for the business sector. Uncertainty in any of these areas reduces economic activity which in turn impacts the standard of living for us all.
 
Recent news that Government intends to review the Development Plan and Small Business policies is a step in the right direction. The Development Plan is outdated and does not reflect the needs of a modern Cayman Islands. Small businesses are the engines of growth and opportunities for Caymanians and all barriers that discourage entrepreneurship should be eliminated. The Chamber is prepared to work along with the Government in both of these areas. Our members possess many years experience and can offer Government practical advice and solutions that will open the doors for business opportunities and prosperity. During these challenging times it will be essential for Government and the private sector to work together to develop solutions. The Chamber stands ready and is willing to offer our assistance.     
 

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