Cayman Enterprise City, Cayman’s special economic zone, reported an economic impact of US$41.56 million for the year 2017.
The effect for the local economy includes a direct impact of US$30.27 million of money spent by zone companies on set-up and maintenance costs; incorporation, registration and attorney fees; as well as expenditures on office operations and real estate purchases.
It also consists of an indirect impact of $11.29 million in terms of the money spent by zone employees, based on the assumption that management and staff working in the zone will spend half of their income locally. The calculation assumed an average U.S. dollar salary of zone employees of $86,019 for last year.
Cayman Enterprise City has published estimates of its economic impact since 2011 to respond to initial criticism that a special economic zone may have little effect on the local economy.
Last year’s figure represents a 9.4 percent increase over 2016’s $37.6 million.
According to Cayman Enterprise City, from 2011 to 2017, the zone contributed an estimated US$155.16 million to the local economy, resulting from a direct spend of $113.01 million and an indirect impact of $42.15 million.
During that time, Cayman Enterprise City has grown to more than 225 companies. More recently, the zone has mainly attracted technology companies, especially in the blockchain and fintech space, which accounted for a quarter of the zone’s growth.
CEO Charlie Kirkconnell expects in the next five years the zone will grow to more than 500 businesses. More than half of these firms are expected to be technology companies.
Earlier this year, Cayman Enterprise City announced it will break ground before the end of 2018 on three dedicated office buildings of more than 60,000 square feet during the first phase of the construction of a 53-acre campus.