CIG resurrects SE Asian office idea

| 02/07/2018 | 16 Comments

(CNS): The lure of Asian investment has placed the idea of opening a Cayman Islands office in Hong Kong back on the government’s agenda. Premier Alden McLaughlin has said it is time to explore again the possibility of an Asian presence, given the increasing importance of that market to the financial services sector. “About 70% of all companies listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange are incorporated here in the Cayman Islands,” McLaughlin told the Legislative Assembly last week, as he outlined the plans to examine options in conjunction with industry stakeholders.

“I personally believe we need a presence in Asia because our competitors are already there,” he said. McLaughlin explained the resurrection of this idea came following the recent visit by a Cayman delegation to Hong Kong for the UK’s GREAT Festival of Innovation.

“The absence of a Cayman Islands Government office was very pronounced, given the number of Caymanian law and accounting firms as well as Caymanians working in Hong Kong,” he told the LA. “While there, I and other ministers took the opportunity to also meet with private sector financial industry leaders, including Invest Hong Kong, to determine the level of interest that Hong Kong businesses have in the Cayman Islands.”

This is not the first time the idea has been discussed but past efforts to actually open the office never came to fruition. “Two previous attempts at opening a Cayman Islands Government office in Hong Kong did not last. I suspect this was the case because of the challenges of this particular market and the need to be very focused on what we are actually seeking to achieve,” the premier suggested, noting that much time has passed and government has reached out to the industry.

A cross-industry working group has been put together to develop a business case and consider the challenges, he said. The group includes McLaughlin, Deputy Premier Moses Kirkconnell, Financial Services Minister Tara Rivers, chief officers Dax Basdeo and Stran Bodden, as well as Alasdair Robertson, Paul Byles, Don Seymour, Conor O’Dea, Taron Jackman, Sherice Arman and Joel Walton.

“We are working closely particularly with private sector businesses who have already successfully gone through setting up shop in Hong Kong and who can offer advice to help us avoid pitfalls and unseen challenges and to make a success of this new venture,” he stated. “Work is now ongoing by members of the group to suggest how best to structure the office, not only to accommodate financial services, but also tourism, our shipping registry and indeed our aircraft registry.”

He said the Cayman office in Hong King would mirror the operations of the London Office, as the Asian market has become increasingly more important to the financial services sector. “With the advent of financial technology there is a huge opportunity that we will be able to grow that business from this region,” McLaughlin said, adding that there was also opportunities for tourism to be exploited in the area as well as financial services.

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Category: Business, Financial Services, Politics

Comments (16)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Reading the quotes in this story you’d be excused for thinking someone’s mouth and brain aren’t exactly fully synchronised.

  2. Anonymous says:

    A quick Google by any of these “thinktank” members and they would have seen that Sydney produces more FinTech companies than Hong Kong and Singapore put together.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This gov’t consistently announces plans to create new financial burdens before establishing the basic business rational to merit these actions. This flawed cognitive process is why we are a third world territory, unable to repay outstanding debts or acknowledge the true balance sheet position, and still all-too-eager to punch our loan guarantor in the crotch.

  4. Say it like it is says:

    The interests of the Cayman Islands are well represented by our professionals already working there. The last thing we need is to appoint another Director and Deputy Director from our prolific public sector to pontificate in Hong Kong and run a shuttle service in business class airfares.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Alden fought to have the same office closed down when leader of Opposition. He’s either bipolar or the biggest flip flopper in Cayman politics. Big Mac calling all the shots and can show Alden and Eric all the best spots

  6. Anonymous says:

    Me Me Me, I’ll go!

  7. Anonymous says:

    send them all to hong kong…all mla’s they no good to us..

  8. Anonymous says:

    Yes time to get some of those high priced trips in as well! Good job Mr Premier. Guess Big Mac can give you a list of the hot spots to check out while there.

    • Wun Hang Lo says:

      Ah so. And are we really “focused on what we are actually seeking to achieve”? Does anyone even know what “we” are trying to achieve? The only thing I see is an opportunity to funnel more riches to certain individuals.

  9. Anonymous says:

    yep.. more jollies on the way…..

  10. Anonymous says:

    Ah boy. I wonder what CIG non-performer will draw the lucky straw, and get sent to represent Cayman in Hong Kong now.


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