Special economic zone Cayman Enterprise City has hit a milestone by signing up its 100th company to enter the zone.
The zone enables entrepreneurs and established businesses to set up a physical operation in Cayman with offices and staff on the ground, to take advantage of Cayman’s tax-neutral status along with a number of special zone concessions granted by the Cayman Islands government.
CEO Charlie Kirkconnell said that by reaching 100 companies, the zone shows evidence of its positive impact and of the significant progress it made in 2013.
“We began 2013 with 29 companies on board and as of early January, we have brought 100 new companies with employees to Grand Cayman.”
CEC was designed to attract international companies in the Internet and technology, media, commodities and biotech industries to the Cayman Islands and to stimulate the economy through foreign direct investments. CEC estimates zone companies have had a $15 million impact on the local economy in the past two years.
In addition to revenue generated for the government through the licensing process, Mr. Kirkconnell said that new zone companies and their employees are using local providers for legal, accounting and banking services. They are renting and buying property and spending on health care, groceries, consumables, entertainment and more. New companies also bring job opportunities and career paths for Caymanians, especially the younger generation, in technical and knowledge-based fields, he added.
As a special economic zone, CEC works closely with the Department of Commerce and Investment, which handles administrative aspects of the zone via government’s Special Economic Zone Authority.
“I congratulate Cayman Enterprise City on the great achievement of signing of its 100th zone company,” said DCI Director Ryan Rajkumarsingh. “We look forward to the continued success of the zone and to welcoming more CEC clients to the Cayman Islands.”
Johann Moxam, president of the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce, also congratulated the Chamber member Cayman Enterprise City on reaching 100 businesses.
“This is a significant milestone. Diversification of the economy is one of the five key drivers that underpin the Future of Cayman economic development initiative. The Chamber wishes the management and staff continued success in promoting the Cayman Islands as an attractive location for international businesses to relocate,” he said.
There are plans to break ground for a permanent zone campus at a yet-to-be-announced location this year. The master plan calls for a 750,000 square-foot to 1 million-square-foot campus of Class A office space and business center facilities. In the interim, zone-designated buildings are being used to accommodate the companies moving to Cayman.
“The new campus will be built as quickly as our client pipeline demands,” said Mr. Kirkconnell. “We estimate that once construction is completed, the new project will have injected approximately $300 million into the local economy.”
Clients who set up in the zone benefit from concessions granted by the Cayman government which include a fast-track licensing and work permit process, 100 percent foreign ownership, and exemption from import duties. Businesses are also 100 percent exempt from corporate, capital gains and sales taxes.
“We are building a world-class Special Economic Zone here in the Cayman Islands and offering the best concessions available in a business-friendly environment,” said Mr. Kirkconnell. “Our doors are open and we encourage international companies to discover the benefits that the Cayman Islands and CEC have to offer.”