Next year will bring a turnaround to Cayman’s economic
woes, Premier McKeeva Bush said last week.
Speaking about the recently released Premier’s Plan for
Sustainable Economic Success, a report that outlines the parameters of Cayman’s
financial recovery, Mr. Bush said employment is at the heart of the plan.
“Our number one priority is getting people back to work,”
“If we can create the right environment that allows
businesses to return to growth and flourish, this will create the jobs that are
needed to ensure that Caymanians can earn an income and support their
The economic stimulus plan addresses three sectors of
Cayman’s economy – financial services, tourism and development.
Mr. Bush gave more details about the development aspect of
Mr. Bush said he expects several development projects to
get under way during the first half of 2011.
One of the projects includes the further development of
Camana Bay, which will begin construction on another office building and the
next phase of its residential properties.
“This will put 300 people to work,” he said, adding that
over the next five years, development work at Camana Bay will represent some
of investment – including $100 million in 2011 alone – leading to $54 million
of general government revenues and another $25 million in stamp duty on real
Another project Mr. Bush said would start in the first
part of 2011 is Dr. Devi Shetty’s Narayana Cayman University Medical
He said he had hoped to get tort reform legislation –
which is required for the development to proceed – passed in the Legislative
Assembly this month, but it wasn’t ready.
“It will be passed though,” he said, adding that he
expects it to be dealt with in the House in January and that there should be
the start of some development activity for the project during the first
Other legislation expected to come in January will allow
for commencement of a $200 million national sewerage project.
Mr. Bush expressed frustration that it has taken more than
a year to get the legislation ready, something that he blamed on bureaucracy.
“People connected to government haven’t moved fast
enough,” he said, noting that a national sewerage system project isn’t only
needed to provide economic stimulus, but is also vital to the country’s
“But there have been roadblocks from the people at the
Water Authority,” he said. “I am finding tremendous roadblocks to the stimulus
Mr. Bush said he thought there were two reasons why civil
servants were being uncooperative in implementing his plans.
“Some people have built up little kingdoms in these areas
and they don’t want their little kingdoms mashed up,” he said.
“Others just don’t want to see this government accomplish
But who suffers? Our people suffer.”
In addition to the bureaucracy, Mr. Bush said he also must
now deal with various boards that have to approve projects, making the process
slower than it used to be.
“When I was chairing my boards, I didn’t have to go
through this rigmarole,” he said.
“Cayman is not a place where you can just up and do it
The resumption of work on the two new high schools in
George Town and Frank Sound will also create jobs, as will additional road works
and the primary schools building programme, which will also commence during the
first quarter of 2011, Mr. Bush said.
The primary schools project will be funded using $10
million of the $155 million of borrowing approved in the 2010/11 budget and
will entail the building of new classroom blocks at all of Grand Cayman’s
primary schools, he said.
“This will allow us to do away with all these temporary
The primary schools projects will be tendered separately
in order to give many construction companies work, Mr. Bush said.
“That will help create jobs, jobs, jobs,” he said. “That’s
what it’s all about, and of course, to add to government revenues.”
Another possible development project that could start
during 2011 is the proposed East End Seaport. There are also talks about
“My plan is to get two more luxury hotels, one in west and
one in east, and also boutique hotels,” he said.
“We have to have more rooms.”
Mr. Bush said that attracting luxury brand hotels would not
only help promote the Cayman Islands as a destination, but would also create
“What Caymanians have to
do is gravitate to those jobs,” he said.