Cayman Economic Outlook turns focus to growth

Sponsors of Cayman Economic Outlook 2017 promote the Feb. 2 event at the Kimpton Seafire resort.

Amid global economic and political uncertainty, the Cayman Economic Outlook 2017 conference will aim to put international trends into perspective for local business leaders.

Fidelity (Cayman) Ltd. Vice President Tom Gammage said the event on Feb. 2 will have an eye toward growth opportunities, despite stagnant economic growth internationally, particularly in advanced economies.

A year colored by political surprises, 2016 saw just 3.1 percent global economic growth, Mr. Gammage said. The 2017 forecast is 3.4 percent, below the long-term average of 4.5 percent to 5 percent.

“These economic concerns have helped fuel anti-trade and anti-immigration sentiment, which is further stifling growth and leading to dramatic political change, as evidenced by Brexit and the growth of far-right parties in Europe and the recent U.S. presidential election,” Mr. Gammage said at the Kimpton Seafire resort, where this year’s event will take place.

Given rising backlash against globalization, Mr. Gammage emphasized the importance of understanding implications for the Cayman Islands and underlying factors behind weak global economic performance.

Neville Hicks, representing Five Continents Financial Ltd., one of the event’s sponsors, said Cayman businesses must understand the global powers that drive local decisions.

“I think for businesses that operate here both locally and internationally, it’s about understanding what’s going on in the world and not being reactive from a business or regulatory standpoint, but being proactive,” Mr. Hicks said.

The 2017 lineup includes economic influencers from across the global stage, including John Tamny of the Reason Foundation, Marla Dukharan of RBC and Northwest Passage Ventures founder Alex Tapscott. Journalists Evan Osnos of The New Yorker and Janine di Giovanni of Newsweek will also attend.

The year’s conference has capacity for around 400 attendees, organizers said.

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