Dart boss shares UK platform with premier

| 26/03/2015 | 9 Comments
CNS Business

Premier Alden McLaughlin and BOT Minister James Duddridge at Caribbean Council (Photo by Rod Leon)

(CNS Business): Cayman’s leader, Premier Alden McLaughlin, was joined by the COO of Dart Enterprises at the House of Lords this week in promoting Cayman when he delivered a key-note address at the Caribbean Council reception. As McLaughlin sold the crowd on the benefits of investing in Cayman and the future projects government has planned, he handed over to Jackie Doak, who told the UK peers and other dignitaries about Dart’s multi-million dollar investment across the island.

McLaughlin was in London with a five man government delegation as well as the Dart boss to promote the islands to investors and also discuss the controversial issue of a beneficial ownership register for offshore firms in Cayman.

Speaking at the 9th Annual Caribbean Council Annual Reception in front of British members of parliament, peers, diplomats, business leaders and senior officials from the UK government, including the overseas territories minister, James Duddridge, the premier highlighted the natural beauty of the Cayman Islands, the world-class diving and the tourist product, as well as the diversity and its impact on the islands’ growing culinary reputation.

But the main message related to the robustness of Cayman’s financial services industry.

CNS Business

Lord Foulkes, Dart COO Jackie Doak and Premier Alden McLaughlin at Caribbean Council (Photo by Rod Leon)

He said Cayman remains one of the most highly regulated jurisdictions in the world and that the OECD, the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, the Financial Action Task Force, the G20 and the International Monetary Fund all confirm that Cayman has been tested. He told the audience that compliance with anti-money laundering and tax transparency standards are as good or better in Cayman than most larger countries.

“I dare say even our beloved Mother Country,” he said as he spoke to the British establishment.

“The Cayman Islands has proactively done much to ensure transparency and compliance in the realm of the financial services industry, not done by compulsion, back room threats or arm twisting, but based on our commitment to ensure that the Cayman Islands continues to conform to global standards,” he added.

There has been tension between the CIG and the UK government over the publication of a central register to reveal beneficial owners of offshore firms that is publicly accessible. The premier has previously refused to move to a central public register and has indicated that since Cayman already collects significant amounts of data on the ownership no major changes were needed to meet the OECD standards.

However on Tuesday he said that “in a spirit of cooperation” the territory had agreed to explore the possibility of implementing a centralized platform to allow, in appropriate circumstances, instant access to beneficial ownership on Cayman Islands legal entities by relevant local tax, regulatory and law enforcement agencies.”

But once again he said it would not be public.

“The Cayman Islands has no plans to move to a public registry, which would be detrimental to our economy, and we would not risk the loss of business by adopting a standard that is not required of all other jurisdictions engaged in the provision of financial services,” he added, pointing out that the idea has not been tested anywhere yet.

He also spoke about government’s planned investment in local infrastructure such as the airport expansion project, the much-anticipated integrated solid waste management facility and the cruise port.

“These projects are proof, I believe, of the confidence investors have, not only in the Cayman Islands, but also in my government, which has worked hard to turn around the country’s economy since taking office in May 2013,” he said.

Pointing to the turnaround of public finances, he said the projected operating surplus for central government this fiscal year is $128 million. He said unemployment has fallen from 6.3% in 2013 to 4.7% at the end of 2014 and that tourist visitor numbers were soaring, reflecting the economic turnaround and the expected growth over the coming years.

Thanking those in the UK who have supported Cayman over the years, he handed over to Doak, who spoke about Dart having the headquarters of its multinational business in Cayman and its commitment to further investment of over CI$400 million.

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Category: Finance, Financial Services, Uncategorized

Comments (9)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Are they in a tent?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t this like Obama asking Kim Jong-un a United summit? Alden you are a BIG sell out to your people. This man is shutting George town one store at a time and you jump in bed with them?

  3. Anonymous says:

    She is obviously the second most powerful female in cayman.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Makes you wonder who governs the Cayman Islands.

    Whatever they may tell you, the Cayman Islands are still THE place to launder your drug money.
    I know, because I worked in real estate here.

  5. Anonymous says:

    PPM now firmly in bed with Dart. We elected them to look after the needs of the people of Cayman not to bow down to Darts money. Oh by the way you better not go back on your promise of OMOV. If you use the commission as an excuse to kill it it is the end of your political careers.

  6. Sharkey says:

    Mr Premier you are playing the Islands wright into the George town dump.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Looks like the cougar has entered the chicken coop

  8. E. Stenna says:

    Imagine Alden working with and publicly promoting Dart – the organization which he and PPM rejected because the former Premier embraced the company. I guess this lends credibility to McKeeva’s assertions that PPM Government is simply following his lead – with no vision of their own.

    Anyway, that’s not all bad – at least in this case. Not tearing down the progress which was previously made is what successive governments should have been doing years ago and we would have been further ahead!!

    Wonder how Alden likes the taste of his own vomit though!

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