CIG throwing party in Singapore for new office

| 20/06/2024 | 15 Comments
Minister Ebanks in Hong Kong in April (from social media)

(CNS): Deputy Premier and Financial Services Minister André Ebanks will be overseas next week, leaving on Wednesday to head a delegation travelling to Singapore to open a Cayman Islands office there. The decision to follow through on the office first proposed under the previous PPM-led administration was to “establish and deepen strong public- and private-sector relations” across Asia, officials said.

The Cayman Islands Government will be hosting a reception to mark the formal opening, hosted by its representative for Asia, Gene DaCosta.

In addition to attending the official opening, Ebanks will attend the Financial Action Task Force Plenary in Singapore, where he will attend sessions and side events on subjects pertinent to the Cayman Islands, such as beneficial ownership. The delegation will also participate in a Cayman Finance industry roundtable to engage with stakeholders on financial services developments.

“Our recent visit to Asia clearly reaffirmed the benefits of providing real-time services and corresponding support in the region,” he said in a press release about the opening. “The Cayman Islands has longstanding, valuable business connections throughout the region, and government is looking forward to strengthening our financial services position while remaining a good regulatory partner globally.”

The delegation, which includes Chief Officer Dax Basdeo and the government’s deputy representative for financial services to Europe, Julie Campbell, will be travelling this weekend.

The Asia office is one of three overseas offices under the ministry’s remit. The Europe office, based in the London office premises, began operating in March this year, and the Washington DC office opened in December 2022.

The plans to open the Asia and US offices stirred up controversy in early 2022 when the Office of the Auditor General revealed that the previous administration had made commitments to spend money on these offices and attend an Expo in Dubai after it had called a general election and during the transition period following the result that saw the Progressives lose office.

Then-governor Martyn Roper made the requests for Cayman to open these overseas offices after the premier at the time, Alden McLaughlin, called the election. However, the OAG report was kept out of the public domain until it was leaked to CNS.

After he became the new finance minister, Ebanks also raised concerns about the report’s findings and asked Deputy Governor Franz Manderson to look into what had happened, though he later cleared the senior civil servant involved, Eric Bush, of any wrongdoing.

During the deputy premier’s absence, Heather Bodden MP will act for him across his portfolios.

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Category: Business, Financial Services, Politics

Comments (15)

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  1. HJacques says:

    Can Kenny get Cayman Airways to fly there and buy a new Dreamliner plane.
    We can have a direct flight and beds in first class for politicians and their cronies. No feasibility study required. It is a shoe in.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I remember Andre in Parliament declaring that the everything was wrong with the Overseas Offices. Including the staff that were hired.

    Now he has opened offices in USA and Singapore.

    The PAC and UPM have been bumbling along for so long. They have a few lackey’s that they appointed to their boards who are loyal supporters. Everyone else sees the disaster.

    • Anonymous says:

      I remember him railing against the overseas offices and all the people that were going to them at a conference not to long after he was elected, and thinging that maybe, just maybe, Cayman might have elected someone with the guts and integrity to lead. And now, on top of being on board with overseas offices everywhere, he’s on board with basically repealing the National Conservation Act He’s such weasel.

    • Anonymous says:

      Andre appears to be lost. All talk nowadays…no action. As Cabinet Minister (and former lawyer) when will he press his Cabinet colleagues to bring into force sections of the Legal Practitioners Act (that protect Caymanian lawyers, etc), or alternatively consider amendments thereto?

  3. Anonymous says:

    While we’re at the airport, where might be the ridiculous banner covers for the middle of the Owen Roberts Airport building roof, on airport remodel that cost us many tens of millions? Strange that 2x(?) over budget reno didn’t manage to buy us a full roofline.

  4. Anonymous says:

    ha ha ha…bettlejuice bettlejuice beetlejuice…

  5. Anonymous says:

    In Andre we trust, but just praying the usual hangers on …..Mac,Kenny,Juju,Seymour and “essential” PA’s and chief officers , will not be an added wasteful expense on another freebie.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mac’s currently in court….so not likely thank god.

    • Anonymous says:

      If Andre goes along with the government on gutting the National Conservation Act, I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him.

      • Anonymous says:

        I stand with you on this, just made the same point on another article. Andre is or was, the only good seed there after Panton left.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Meanwhile, back home there is no driver’s education, no traffic police, and no thought to revise the failing educational system.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Imagine the bill coming for this as the people struggle to pay CUC.

    • Sir Humphrey says:

      It would make far more sense from a cost and efficiency perspective, for the CIG office to work out of the British High Commission in Singapore.

      Canada has a number of Provinces in Asia working out of their Embassies in Asia as do a number of American states working out of American Embassies.

      Our high card from a financial and legal perspective is we are a British colony with an English common law system. We should be playing that up in Asia.

      The cost for this adventure, considering Singapore office rents must be astronomical. We are 3 Islands drowning in money.

      • Anonymous says:

        Or – just or – do nothing at all and let the private sector take care off it. The law firms here Singapore offices already spend a fortune on promoting the Cayman financial services sector and offerings in Cayman, admittedly for self interest, but will be way more effective at promoting Cayman and more credible than a quick fly in and champagne and canapes visit from Andre and a hanger on delegation.

    • Neverwannabeacivilservant says:

      Can the Auditor General as a parting shot, require a detaied billing of this shindig, including the party, and also request that our Singapore representative submits details of all the new business he generates.

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