Ask the politicians or business leaders who were around a
few decades ago about the key elements of Cayman’s rise as an offshore
financial centre and most of them will mention the collaborative and
cooperative relationship between the government and the private sector.
For a number of reasons, that relationship has steadily
eroded over the years to the point where the government and private sector are
often at odds on even basic issues.
In spite of this growing conflict, the Cayman Islands
continued its meteoric rise. Although various politicians and business leaders
would often talk about the need for government and the private sector to
collaborate more, the fact that the country was booming left little incentive
for change. Things are different now.
As a result of the financial crisis, Cayman’s economic
reality has fundamentally changed and the future will require a true
collaborative effort if this country is going to remain competitive in a global
market and reach previous levels of prosperity.
It is therefore good to see the government and the Chamber
of Commerce agree to work collaboratively toward a common goal, specifically
relating to implementing the recommendations of the Future of Cayman strategic
That’s a very good start to improving the relationship
between the public and private sector, but it’s only a start.
True cooperation and collaboration is going to require
meaningful, respectful and honest dialogue and consultation. Too often the
government makes decisions without consulting the people or industries the
decisions could effect most, as it did recently in relation to planned fees and
increased regulation for hedge funds.
On the other hand, some entities in the private sector are
guilty of paying mere lip service to government about their efforts to hire,
train and promote qualified Caymanians, even though these issues are clearly
paramount to much of the electorate.
We hope a new era of cooperation and collaboration was
launched with the agreement between the Chamber and the government.