The statement was made a day after the opposition People’s Progressive Movement party’s executive committee issued a communiqué to the press, questioning where Mr. Bush was and who was running the country in his absence.
According to the Premier’s press office statement:
“Premier McKeeva Bush is currently in Asia representing the Cayman Islands on a number of levels, from making representations to the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer to promoting inward investment for the country. In the current international economic environment Asia is the land of expanding economies where investors are looking for new opportunities.
“During this extended trip to Asia the Hon. Premier has attended the Commonwealth Finance Minister’s meeting and associated meetings of the IMF and World Bank. He will also be pursuing business opportunities for the Cayman Islands elsewhere, including a visit to Hong Kong and the China Offshore Summit in Shanghai.”
The statement by the PPM Executive questioned the reason and frequency of recent travels by Premier Bush and Deputy Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly.
“Not only has the Premier been frequently absent for long periods, at times with the public not being advised of the reasons for his absence from the Islands, but recently we also see that the Deputy Premier was at the same time visiting Qatar for a Postal Union conference,” the PPM Executive statement read. “The Caymanian people have expressed concern as to the usefulness of this travel by the UDP, along with the associated expenditure.
“The Progressives share this concern, particularly at a time when the Cayman Islands continue to recover from the impact of the world economic crisis and the ongoing economic mismanagement of the UDP Government. This is a time when we need all hands on deck working at home to resolve the many challenges that we face.”
In response to the press release issued by the PPM executive committee Premier Bush made the following statement:
“Every government must travel to conduct business. Whether it’s a lot of travel or little, all depends on the business that has to be conducted. My travels and that of the Deputy Premier don’t normally overlap however this time it could not be avoided because of the nature of the meetings, hers for postal matters and mine for finance, both of which had agendas which were set by the international bodies, each in their very different but significant areas of responsibility. Cayman’s ability to do business in the global arena is positively affected by us being seen to effectively maintain our international good governance and regulatory obligations.
“What we can do as a Government, and have done, is to work hard to try and making conditions better for the Cayman Islands.
“We do know of and have had to live with the financial situation the PPM left, and which blossomed into a much worse situation than anyone of us could have predicted. We could not, nor could any other government, change that situation in four years given world conditions. But we must try, and in today’s world, that means knocking on doors – and we have to go to the right places, to knock on the right doors.”