Premier Alden McLaughlin

The governments of the UK overseas territories will meet in the Cayman Islands later this month to coordinate the agenda items of the Joint Ministerial Council meeting in November in London.

At the annual event, government leaders will also receive an update on the work of the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Association over the past year.

The meeting will be followed by an inaugural UK and Overseas Territories International Trade Summit at the Kimpton Seafire to enable high-level government discussions between UK and overseas territories government leaders and officials.

The Trade Summit is jointly hosted by the Cayman and UK governments and is the first event organised by the new Ministry of International Trade, Investment, Aviation and Maritime Affairs, responsible for attracting international trade and investment to the Cayman Islands.

Premier Alden McLaughlin said in a statement, “This inaugural UK/OT International Trade Summit is an opportunity to showcase what the OTs have to offer, but to also discuss trade opportunities with and for all OTs as we all look for ways to diversify our economies and take advantage of the opportunities that will be afforded after Brexit.”

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Director of the Overseas Territories Department Ben Merrick said the event would bring international trade issues to the forefront of the discussions between the UK and overseas territories governments and provide a platform to address “how we can better work in partnership on trade”.

The event will discuss opportunities to engage with UK trade initiatives, as well as with the Commonwealth through the Enterprise and Investment Council.

The summit will also examine business sectors such as fintech, tourism, healthcare and the blue economy, a term that refers to the economic use and preservation of the marine environment.

“This is a very exciting time for Cayman, as we celebrate our 60-year anniversary of our first written constitution. We are now at a crossroads of our country’s history,” said Eric Bush, chief officer of trade and investment ministry. “Our forefathers have built a strong and vibrant economy for us all to enjoy. It is now our time to further build on these foundations and bring Cayman to the world stage, showing them who we are, what we have to offer, and seek to enhance trade and investment from our neighbours, near and far.”

The trade summit is timed to coincide with the Celebrate Cayman 60th anniversary celebrations, with special invitations to celebrations being extended to UK government and overseas territories delegates.

Alfonso Wright, executive chairman of Celebrate Cayman, said, “This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase Cayman Islands history and culture with the UK and Heads of Government from the Overseas Territories. At such a significant time for the Cayman Islands’ relationship with the UK it is invaluable to be able to invite such high-level attendees to join our celebrations.”

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