Cayman ‘could be Caribbean broker’

The
Cayman Islands could be set up as a hub for Caribbean investment, according to
the National Investment Council.

“The
one thing we can export, besides Tortuga Rum, is money. The reality is that
most of the people who are here, and most of the funds that are here, don’t
have the ability to invest their funds in Cayman,” said William Peguero,
council chairman.

“So
if you are able to create different vehicles and syndicates that operate out of
here that get the freedom to use their location – we’re part of Caricom as an
associate – we can use that leverage to be able to help the other islands of
the Caribbean and that will benefit Cayman.”

Mr.
Peguero said that Cayman is a sophisticated island with 80 per cent to 90 per
cent of the world’s mutual funds, more than 300 banks and no taxation of funds
for transactions going to or coming from abroad. Repatriation of funds is not
an issue and there is an increasing number of taxation treaties with other
nations.

English law

“So
we are very transparent when it comes to those things, and we’re a good
jurisdiction when it comes to having your funds [here]. We have English law,
which is desirable for everybody. The fact of the matter is, Cayman has a good
strategic location to create a level of diversification that will help us not
to be so strictly dependent on the financial services as we know it today. We
need to diversify and I believe strongly that positioning Cayman as a broker,
if you will, for the region, and even Central and South America, could be desirable,”
said Mr. Peguero.

He
added that there are plans to develop relationships with Brazil and Panama and
that the Department of Commerce and Investment had attended the recent World
Association of Investment Promotion Agencies conference in Argentina.

“We
have become now more actively involved in their plans and we have a lot more
now that we can offer because the one thing we have which is funds, resources.
We are able to connect a lot of vehicles that we already have in Cayman and
say, look, there’s opportunities in Jamaica, the Bahamas, Bermuda [and
elsewhere and we can act as] a broker. That has a lot of benefit for us, as
well as looking for players who can come in and contribute to the Cayman
tourism product.

“You
have the advent of Cuba [opening] up. Well, we would like to be the bridge for
Cuba as well,” concluded Mr. Peguero.

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