Decades of experience have made many Cayman residents sceptical when it comes to the announcement of planned projects. Big projects too numerous to mention have been announced with great hoopla, only to never materialise, or to materialise in a way other than advertised.
Sometimes it’s a matter of the developer not getting the needed financial backing or enough pre-sales to make the project happen. Other times it’s a failure of government in not supporting the project in one way or the other.
Despite the failures, there have been plenty of success stories over the years, and one only has to look at Camana Bay and The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman to see that sometimes things that initially seem somewhat far-fetched can come true. Those developments have a long way to go to reach what their developers have proposed, but the results so far are big assets to Cayman.
Cayman Enterprise City is another proposed development that at first blush for many people, might seem far-fetched. After all, who thinks thousands of top executives from Fortune 500 brand companies are going to want to work in a special economic zone out by itself in Cayman’s Eastern Districts somewhere? The answer to that question might surprise people.
The first thing to consider is why those types of companies would want to locate here. The answer is for the same reasons companies establish themselves in more than 3,000 special economic zones all over the world: tax advantages. Cayman Enterprise City will focus on intellectual property and technology in its knowledge-based special economic zone, something true of only about one per cent of such zones. Most of the other knowledge-based special economic zones are currently located in Asia and the Middle East, in places like Dubai. Given the current unrest in the Middle East, and the differences it has with North America in terms of culture and time zone, the question becomes: why not in Cayman?
With the developer’s track record, the project CEO’s contacts and experience with special economic zones and the government’s desire to see the project succeed, Cayman Enterprise City not only has a high probability of happening, but could also become very beneficial to the Cayman Islands.