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Cayman Islands Government

Financial Services Agenda Set

Some of the retreat participants (seated l-r) Senior Assistant Secretary Portfolio of Finance and Economics Michelle Bahadur; PR Unit Deputy Director Claire Lloyd-Hickey; General Registry Financial Controller Grace Watson; and Registrar General Cindy Jefferson-Bulgin. Standing from left LoGB (Premier Designate) the Hon. McKeeva Bush; PR Unit Director Ted Bravakis; CSX Senior Executive Officer Sandy McFarlane; and CIDB Managing Director Ralph Lewis.

Leader of Government Business and Minister of Financial Services, the Hon. McKeeva Bush OBE, JP, outlined the government's overall strategic objectives during a recent financial services retreat for all government entities working in the sector.

The retreat represented a major step forward by the newly-formed Financial Services Ministry in efforts to align the objectives of its agencies with its own. At the meeting each entity presented its strategic initiatives for the year ahead and learned more about the Ministry's vision for Cayman's financial services industry.

Committing his unwavering support, Mr. Bush stressed the importance of harmonising all facets of government's financial services operations. "We are all part of one family, sharing a common goal," he said.

"I encourage you to work closely together and indeed, to communicate regularly. With help from each of your organisations added to our partnership with the financial services industry, I am hopeful that we can achieve our objectives."

These objectives were outlined during the meeting and included an international marketing and lobbying programme; revisions to immigration policy and other legislation; training and education; the establishment of a financial services secretariat and the encouragement of international businesses with a physical presence in the Cayman Islands.

Minister Bush emphasised the importance of taking a holistic approach, saying that each area would be taken into account when addressing the long-term future of the financial industry. He also stressed the importance of a properly funded marketing and promotional programme to address the reputation crisis being experienced by the industry.

The financial services secretariat will be tasked with developing and protecting the financial services industry. It will provide research and policy advice to the ministry, coordinate public relations and marketing, and provide legal expertise for drafting legislation.

"In our approach to regulation we must strike a delicate balance between risk management and commercial success," the Minister said.

"Our approach to cooperation on tax matters must demonstrate full commitment to the international efforts of organisations such as the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development) and the EU (European Union)," he added.

Participating in the retreat were representatives from the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority and Stock Exchange; the Tax Information Authority; the Registrar of Companies; the Public Relations Unit, the Cayman Islands Development Bank, the Tax Information Exchange Negotiation Team and the Financial Services Council.

(GIS)

For further information contact: Kenisha Morgan