While the Cayman Islands can say it has managed to weather the storm of economic pressure felt globally during the last few years, remaining static is not an option for an economy such as ours, positioned high above many of the world’s economies.
If we are to continue to thrive and prosper as a leading service provider to the world’s economy, we must look ahead, innovate and diversify. The Future of Cayman Forum 2012 takes place on 23 November at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, creating a vehicle for around 200 of Cayman’s top business minds, from both the public and private sectors, to join forces and set the economic path for the coming years ahead.
An economic development initiative that has been created and implemented by the Chamber of Commerce and supported by the Cayman Islands government, the Future of Cayman is a private/public sector effort seeking to create the best quality of life for Cayman Islands residents by building a robust business climate, ensuring the continuous generation of employment and creating investment opportunities that will be welcomed by local residents and overseas investors alike.
“The uncertainty of the international economy compels nations to boost both their competitiveness and attractiveness in order to prosper,” Future of Cayman Steering Committee Chairman Shayne Howe said. “As such it is incumbent on us to develop and implement new strategies to achieve our goals and the upcoming Forum is a unique opportunity for business and Government leaders across industries to discuss, develop, and debate such strategies.”
In the driving seat
The impetus for the Future of Cayman initiative has been derived from extensive consultation with the private and public sector, establishing five main drivers that have been found to be the most important areas that need to be addressed via the initiative.
These five drivers are: Develop talent, create a business friendly climate, build a smarter infrastructure, enhance quality of life and diversify the economy.
Out of these five crucially important areas of focus, the Future of Cayman Forum meeting of minds taking place this month will hone in on two in particular – building a smarter infrastructure and developing talent and drilling down and highlighting exactly what elements these two drivers need to be fulfilled. These two drivers have been identified as the most urgent due to rising unemployment and several major proposed projects in the pipeline.
Better infrastructure strengthens the economy
Building a smarter infrastructure for the Cayman Islands requires a series of actions to take place and these will be discussed in depth at the Forum. Objectives for this key driver are to develop a national infrastructure strategic report and invest in critical infrastructure.
In particular, the forum will examine areas such as transportation, our ports, airport, water, communications, waste management, energy and building technologies because we must ensure that investments in these critical components of our infrastructure are cost effective and sustainable. These areas make up the backbone of our economy and must be strengthened for the long run.
Talent development key to success
In the same way, a series of actions have been developed that must be undertaken to successfully grow our own talent here in the Cayman Islands. A series of communication initiatives, school and other support programmes, and other areas have been outlined to promote local talent to reach its full potential. Our goals in this sector are to ensure successful educational performance at every level, ensure employers have access to a skilled workforce and to create an environment that promotes lifelong learning.
Each goal requires a pro-active, hands-on approach by all concerned, whether that is the business community, educators, the public sector or students themselves.
These two important drivers are critical areas ripe for development and the forum organised looks forward to having the opportunity at the Future of Cayman Forum to take the initiative to the next level with all stakeholders. They believe it is vital that to see action in these two sectors of the initiative because the future of Cayman is at stake.