Cayman’s special economic zone, Cayman Enterprise City, reported that companies operating in the zone and their staff had a $23.6 million impact on the local economy this year.
The figures for the 12-month period ending in September included a direct impact of $15.78 million, consisting of fees related to the incorporation and annual registration of zone companies, office space fit-outs and real estate purchases.
In addition, an estimated indirect impact of $7.83 million resulted from zone employees spending money in the local economy. The calculation is based on each zone employee spending at least half their estimated annual salary in Cayman.
Charlie Kirkconnell, chief executive officer of Cayman Enterprise City, said the figures show that “the reason the special economic zone was set up in the first place is being served very well.”
The special economic zone operator estimates that since inception, it had a direct and indirect impact on the economy of $56.4 million, combining a direct effect of $40.78 million and an indirect effect of $15.63 million.
“This year’s growth is a function of the zone growing and the continued activity of our clients in the economy. Certainly CEC is spending more money every year, but so are our clients and there are more of them,” Mr. Kirkconnell noted.
The number of companies in the zone is approaching 180, and in particular their real estate purchases continued to be quite strong, he added.
In 2015, CEC added about 60 companies, an average of five companies per month, and the zone now employs more than 300 people. In addition, there has been significant organic growth in terms of existing zone companies expanding their physical presence, Mr. Kirkconnell said.
There has also been some attrition of companies whose contracts with CEC have come to an end and who are no longer operating in the zone. But the numbers are small, below 10 percent, and there have been no complaints that the zone had not delivered on its promises, Mr. Kirkconnell said.
The majority of zone companies, approximately 51 percent, are situated in the Internet Park, followed by 26 percent of companies in the Commodities & Derivatives Park and 19 percent of zone companies in the Media Park.
In May, government approved a designated special economic zone for maritime services companies, with the aim of bringing shipping companies and maritime service providers to Cayman.
The Cayman Maritime Services Park of Cayman Enterprise City aims to attract ship owners, brokers and financiers, freight trading, operations, logistics, vessel management, consulting and research companies operating in the shipping industry by combining Cayman’s tax-neutral environment with reduced red tape, lower registration fees and no work permit fees.
CEC will ramp up its marketing activities for the Maritime Services Park with its participation in Cayman Maritime Week from May 2-6, 2016, which will add two days to the Cayman Shipping Summit organized by Mare Forum.
Establishing a globally significant Shipping Week in Cayman is part of the strategy of giving shipping executives a good reason to come to the Cayman Islands so they can picture themselves operating their business from here, Mr. Kirkconnell said.