Read our article in the Cayman Financial Review Magazine, eversion
The BE INFORMED series provides an excellent platform for debate and discussion about important community issues and concerns.
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Cayman Enterprise City
The Chamber held its first BE INFORMED series of the year in January, which acted as an information session on the Cayman Enterprise City project.
Hillary McKenzie-Cahill, vice president of Marketing and Business Development and the CEC team gave Chamber members an update on all the project elements including a preview of the masterplan and insight into the opportunities for business owners, entrepreneurs and residents.
Sharing their vision with the audience they described how CEC see themselves as the ideal 21st Century hub for the world’s knowledge-based industries, presenting an unprecedented combination of financial incentives within an environment which offers the ultimate legislative, geographic and lifestyle benefits. Special Economic Zones are regarded as economic drivers that bring direct foreign investment, boost economies, and create jobs in new industries.
Mrs. McKenzie-Cahill also explained how CEC’s unique cluster of industry specific business parks will encompass Cayman Internet & Technology Park, Cayman International Media Park, Cayman Biotechnology Park, Cayman Commodities & Derivatives Park, Cayman Outsourcing Park and Cayman International Academic Park. They envision that groundbreaking will take place in the first quarter on 2012.
Chamber President David Kirkaldy remarked to members that:
“The Chamber is very clear on the fact that we support a new Port facility, the Narayana Cayman University Medical Centre, the FORCayman Alliance development and the new Cayman Enterprise City project. We believe the realisation of these ventures will mean more jobs and a more stabilised economy. We also believe we are fortunate to have such a number of potential investments open to us in these challenging economic times.
"Let us embrace these opportunities and look positively towards a future that we can all feel more secure about. Let’s get excited about the economic development of this country. Yes, we need to balance sacrifice against success – the growth of the non-Cayman population and the use of land development are key areas of concern for many people – as they should be. But with the right strategies in place and with careful consideration–this we believe can be handled not only successfully but to our considerable benefit. It is not unusual to be apprehensive about change–and debate and discussion is a very useful tool to process this.”
The UK Bribery Act 2010
The second BE INFORMED series presentation held on 28 March looked at The UK Bribery Act 2010and its implications for the business community in the Cayman Islands. Guest speakers Andrew De La Rosa, attorney and barrister at law (International Chancery & Trusts Chambers ICT), and Ben Tonner, attorney (Samson & McGrath) summarised the main provisions of the Act including the offences, defences and reporting obligations created and the compliance regime that has taken effect under it. They highlighted the differences between the corruption laws of the Cayman Islands and the United Kingdom, and explained the extraterritorial application of the 2010 Act.
Chamber President David Kirkaldy welcomed Chamber members to the event and made comment to the discussion:
“What makes the UK Bribery Act significant to Overseas Territories is that the scope of the Act is extra-territorial; a relevant person or company can be prosecuted for the above crimes if the crimes are committed abroad. The Act applies to UK citizens, residents and companies established under UK law. In addition, non-UK companies can be held liable for a failure to prevent bribery if they do business in the UK.
Bribery is described in Black’s Law Dictionary as the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official or other person in charge of a public or legal duty.
The bribe is the gift bestowed to influence the recipient’s conduct. It maybe, among other things, money, a good, preferment, an object of value, an advantage, or merely a promise or undertaking to induce or influence the action, vote, or influence of a person in an official or public capacity.
Bribery extends beyond the definition just given, though. Economists have described bribery as ‘rent seeking’, which Wikipedia defines as “the expenditure of resources attempting to enrich oneself by increasing one’s share of a fixed amount of wealth rather than trying to create wealth.
Since resources are expended but no new wealth is created, the net effect of rent-seeking is to reduce the sum of social wealth. Further, as it generally implies the extraction of uncompensated value from others without making any contribution to productivity, it is a financial drain of no economic good to a nation, reducing competitiveness and the efficiency generated by normal market forces.
Bribery has no place in business. It has no place in Cayman business, at home or abroad. The new UK law reflects a new fight against bribery and paves the way for competitive but fair practice.
Over time, it will have a positive impact on Cayman businesses through enhanced reputation for ethical standards, reduced costs and an international level playing field.”