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SNA, BOP Surveys Continue

Financial Secretary, Mr. Kenneth Jefferson, JP

The Economics and Statistics Office (ESO) is urging local businesses to fill out and return questionnaires for the System of National Accounts (SNA) and Balance of Payments (BOP) surveys by Friday April 27.

ESO officials sent a total of 3,515 SNA forms to local businesses across three goods-producing sectors, as well as 19 different types of services providers in the private and public sectors, including wholesale and retail trade, accommodation services, restaurants, bars and nightclubs, insurance providers, banks, all business service providers and realtors.

The goal of the SNA survey is to gather data to determine the total value of goods and services produced in the Cayman Islands.

An additional, 1,317 BOP questionnaire forms were distributed among those local businesses, whose operations include international transactions, such as financial services entities and importers.

The surveys are being recommended by Financial Secretary, Mr. Kenneth Jefferson and former Cayman Islands Monetary Authority Chairman, Mr. Timothy Ridley.

"Both these surveys are extremely important in gauging how well the Cayman Islands' economy has done in comparison to previous years and also to other jurisdictions," Mr. Jefferson said.

Urging all businesses, non-profit organisations and individuals to fill in the received questionnaires and return to the ESO, Mr. Jefferson explained that SNA provides vital information about how well Cayman's gross domestic product (GDP) has performed in the year. "GDP facts and figures are the tools that economists, analysts and investors use in determining the economic viability of the Cayman Islands and as a place to invest."

BOP statistics provide an insight into how much money the Cayman Islands received from overseas compared to how much was paid out to the rest of the world. So it is critical, Mr Jefferson stressed, that both questionnaires are filled and returned.

Former Managing Director of CI Monetary Authority, Mr. Timothy Ridley

Mr. Ridley, a former Managing Partner of law firm Maples and Calder and a current financial services business owner, noted that without stakeholder data it is impossible to provide accurate information about the Cayman Islands to local and foreign investors. "It is ironic that people who seek up-do-date information about the Cayman Islands economy are sometimes reluctant to provide the data that is required to build up that information and form an accurate picture," he commented.

Cayman's credibility is seriously enhanced by having this information, Mr. Ridley said. "With this information, we are telling the world that we are a mature financial centre."

Both Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Ridley acknowledge that a major - although unfounded - concern that survey respondents may have is about the confidentiality of the information they provide.

Mr. Jefferson and ESO officials assure stakeholders that the information they provide is kept in utmost confidence, with only generic conclusions drawn, by the ESO, from the overall picture that the results present. Additionally, there are stiff penalties for any divulgence of individual information by ESO staff, Mr. Jefferson noted.

Once the information is collected and analysed, it is made available in a format that provides a quick accurate picture, but which reinforces the confidentiality of individual businesses and firms, he added.

Further information and downloadable forms for printing are available from the ESO website www.eso.ky.

(GIS)

For further information contact: Bina Mani




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