The vision for the Future of Cayman is straightforward: bring together leaders from Government, industry associations and community groups to identify the key objectives and actions that if implemented, will improve the quality of life, business climate and create jobs and business opportunities in the Cayman Islands.
Initiated by the Chamber of Commerce, the Future of Cayman economic development initiative is in answer to the need to evolve our Islands’ policies, procedures and practices as we look to keep pace with the recent global economic transformation. It is a wake-up call for us all. Now is the time to act as we work together to execute a solid plan of action that will ensure the future sustainability and prosperity of our Islands. While our economy is marginally stable, we need to work in unison to achieve effective results. With this in mind, five key drivers have been identified as critical to the prosperity and sustainability of our economic future and quality of lifestyle.
The five key drivers’ research began with the development and release of the Chamber of Commerce State of Business Survey in March 2010. The survey was distributed to more than 650 member business owners and/or key managerial staff to see how they were fairing in the global economic downturn. Two hundred and eight members responded to the survey, which clearly represented an even cross section of industry sectors responsible for large and small businesses. The survey results were an important factor in determining the level of confidence local businesses have in our economy and the importance they placed on certain constraints and opportunities. The results were then shared with representatives of the Council of Associations, which then submitted their list of five key drivers that they believe to be essential to drive Cayman’s economy into a successful future. Submissions were tabulated and compared with the results of the survey and the manifesto of the elected Government. After considerable review the five key drivers that were confirmed were:
Create a Business-Friendly Climate
Diversify the Economy
Enhance Quality of Life
Build a Smarter Infrastructure
On 11 November, 2010, at the Marriott Grand Cayman, the first Future of Cayman Forum took place under the guidance of a Steering Committee comprising both public and private sector representatives and the Forum facilitator IBM. Each driver was assigned to a specific group comprising of representatives with experience and knowledge relating to the topic. Each group was chaired by two co-chairs, representing both the private and public sectors that assisted in the groups’ discussions as they looked to identify the necessary objectives and actions. The information resulting from the forum is now being compiled into a report.
Chamber President, James O’Neill states, “The Chamber may have been the driving force behind this economic development initiative but the Future of Cayman now belongs to all of us. This is something we should all stand behind. We must put our differences aside and look at the good that can come from this aligning of purpose. This should not be about politics or individual agendas, but about the health of our economy and the quality of life we can provide our people. The weakened global economy should have taught us a valuable lesson; that we are wasting our time if we think we should be striving to reclaim our past – what we need to reclaim is our future – and this is a very different proposition. We need to think about things differently and we need to do this together. Whether we’re ready or not a new world economy has arrived and like an individual business we must adapt holistically in order to survive and flourish.”
Government ministers and public sector officials have fully endorsed the Future of Cayman Forum and are working hand-in-hand with the private sector to see a successful process and conclusion. A printed report and website will be launched in June that will educate the public about the initiative and allow the community to keep up-to-date with the progress being made.
The Steering Committee encourages all members of the public who would like to get involved by serving on a sub-committee to contact Chamber CEO, Wil Pineau CCE at [email protected] or call 345-949-8090 ext. 122.