EDITORS NOTE: Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair will visit
the Cayman Islands as the guest speaker at the opening gala dinner of the KPMG
Legends Tennis Tournament on 16 November at the Ritz Carlton. Given that the UK
Overseas Territories Consultative Council recently launched a consultation on a
new strategy for the Overseas Territories, there will be a range of topics
he will speak to including globalisation, peace talks and also the future of
the overseas territories in modern Britain. The Caymanian Compass is taking
this opportunity to present a series of viewpoints on the future of Cayman’s
relationship with the UK. Today’s viewpoint is from Roy McTaggart, managing partner at KPMG.
1962 was a pivotal year. Not only was the Cayman Islands established as a British Overseas Territory, but Rod Laver also won his first tennis Grand Slam; he is the only man in history ever to win two. Despite a separation of almost 5,000 miles, the sport and the Islands remain linked today.
KPMG is proud to support the 2011 Legends Tennis for the fourth year. The 2011 tournament will feature tennis legends such as Martina Hingis, Jennifer Capriati and Mark Philippoussis and the championship’s guest speaker: the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair. All proceeds will support the Cayman Crisis Centre and the Junior Tennis Club. By now, we all know the Overseas Territories Consultative Council has launched a review into the UK’s relationship with its Overseas Territories. It seems logical, therefore, that Mr. Blair will be presenting his thoughts on: “The future of Overseas Territories in modern Britain”. Not surprisingly, the review covers a wide range of topics: everything from challenges in every day life to cooperation between territories. We believe, however, that two areas are of critical importance:
The role the UK must play in supporting the global profile of the Cayman Islands;
The UK’s role in supporting various Overseas Territories with crucial infrastructure projects.
We would like to see the UK more involved in promoting the Cayman Islands to the international arena. This increased support would significantly influence the perceptions held by the international financial services community.
In addition, a recent KPMG survey found Overseas Territories face considerable infrastructure challenges. The 2010 survey of 16 island jurisdictions highlighted that for many, in the short to mid-term, infrastructure needs far exceed the total annual revenue budget of the country. Compounding the problem, the global credit crisis has restricted the availability of finance and increased its cost.
While direct financial aid may not be available or appropriate, expert support in obtaining alternative financing solutions would go a long way toward helping to effectively manage and control costs and to meet the long-term infrastructure demands of these territories.
In summary, however, we welcome the opportunity to engage in a deeper dialogue with the UK government. We look forward to educating and informing on how we function and, in particular, on the importance of the Cayman Islands in the global financial services market.
In the meantime, let’s enjoy some great tennis.