Cayman Enterprise City
The Cayman Islands Government and Cayman Enterprise City Ltd. (CEC) today signed an agreement that allows the developer the exclusive right to construct, develop, operate and maintain a special economic zone, intended to attract global science, technology, commodities and derivatives, media, and educational entities to the Cayman Islands.
Special economic zones (SEZs) are regions specially established in a country, for which government concessions have been made in order to stimulate economic growth.
"CEC represents an opportunity for the Cayman Islands to diversify its economic base," said the Premier, the Hon. McKeeva Bush, OBE, JP. "It's also worth noting that this project requires no government investment, as it will be completely privately funded; and the developer also has not requested waivers for duties on materials or stamp duties."
Although SEZs exist in a number of developed and emerging economies, the SEZ in Cayman will be the first in the Caribbean region, said Mr. Jason Blick, who is the CEO of CEC.
"The cooperation and inward-investment friendly attitude of the Cayman Islands Government, and the Civil Service, has been outstanding," he noted. "They truly understand the positive effect the zone will have on Cayman, and their support has been incredible."
The development of CEC's five "parks" - namely Cayman Internet Park, Cayman Media Park, Cayman Biotech Park, Cayman Commodities Park, and Cayman International Academic Park - will be phased. "We hope to break ground in early 2012," said CEC's Director of Design and Construction, and local partner, Cindy O'Hara.
Government will now begin to establish the legislative framework for CEC to operate, the Premier said. However, with the agreement now signed, certain regulatory processes in departments such as Planning can now begin.
More about Cayman Enterprise City
- The private investment is valued at more than US$327 million over the next eight years.
- CEC will create highly skilled and administrative jobs, and generate indirect jobs in support sectors such as construction and supply services.
- The master plan incorporates a state-of-the-art, low-rise campus of sustainable architecture comprising 500,000 sq. ft. in three phases of Class A office space, according to CEC's Director of Design and Construction and local partner, Cindy O'Hara.
- Two sites have been short-listed for the campus; once a final site has been selected its location will be announced and the project team will start the Planning Department permit process.
- There will be no manufacturing or engineering businesses permitted within the zone (this is a knowledge based zone and not a manufacturing one).
- There will be no laboratory testing (no applied biotechnology research).
- There will be no dredging.
- It will have a low environmental impact.
- There are three phases to CEC. During phase I, while the project is being built, CEC will take up to 100,000 sq. ft. of existing office space in George Town, so that international brands wishing to establish within the zone will not have to wait until phase one is completed.