Editorial for 15 March: This sort of thing just looks bad

The Caymanian Compass believes it is fair comment to state, no matter who turns out to be in the right in this case, the sort of legal action taken this week with regard to The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman properties just looks bad for the jurisdiction’s reputation in the international business community.

If any of our readers do not believe foreign investors pay attention to this stuff, they are wrong.

Whatever the truth of the matter, according to court filings, the transfer of the hotel property has not occurred yet even though – RC Cayman Holdings claims – its payment for the stamp duty on the property transfer has been cashed. The new owners also claim that the reason for the transfer not happening is that the government wants them to pay $6 million in deferred import duties that were extended to the companies previously controlled by developer Michael Ryan.

We fear the ultimate upshot of all this, if the matter is not resolved quickly, is that it will undermine the confidence of those who would make inward investment in the Cayman Islands.

It is much the same concern this newspaper has expressed regarding the ongoing negotiations with the Dart group of companies and government, where it appears that something has been agreed and then changed and then pulled back and then agreed again, but not really … but maybe?

At any rate, the government of this territory needs to decide whether it wishes foreign investors to come here and whether it is willing to accept the inherent risks and potential returns that are part of the package.

If the government is going to insert itself into these business deals, it must do its own business properly the first time, I’s dotted, T’s crossed. Staff with competent and relevant skills must be in place to effect this and proper processes used to ensure everyone is treated fairly.

The auditor general is right again. Maybe we’ll listen to him one of these days.
 

1 COMMENT

  1. Editor, thank you for such a sensible editorial. A lot of people are simply not seeing the bigger picture but believe that this is simply about picking a side. I could scarcely believe the shortsightedness of one poster’s comment that foreign investors who did not like this sort of behaviour could simply leave. Well, if they took that advice Cayman would be in a great deal more trouble than it is now and it would make the 2009- recession seem like boom time.

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