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Cayman business must do better – says FT report

President of Chamber of Commerce, James O’Neill.

A report by leading British newspaper the Financial Times has rated the Cayman Islands as poor when it comes to a number of key attributes in business.

The Foreign and Direct Investment report says Cayman ranks nowhere when it comes to business friendliness, best economic potential, best infrastructure or best human resources.

Yesterday the Cayman Chamber of Commerce said the result should act as a wake-up call for the Island and the businesses here had to become more attractive.

President James O’Neill said it was unclear why this jurisdiction was only ranked in one category on the list but Cayman may not have provided the FT with sufficient data.

Mr O’Neill said: “We need to support the five drivers and implement the actions that were outlined in the Future of Cayman economic development initiative which was developed collaboratively by the business community and the C.I. Government recently.

“The five drivers: Develop Talent, Enhance the Quality of Life, Build a smarter infrastructure, Diversify the Economy and Create a Business Friendly Climate will improve Cayman’s attractiveness and will put us back on track for a full economic recovery.”

What can we take from being placed number 3 in “quality of life” and how can we use this to improve
other rankings?

He added: “There is always room for improvement. Enhance the Quality of Life is one of the five drivers for our future success. Five key objectives were identified that will help us to improve our quality of life.

“These include: Enhance and embrace diversity. Promote a healthy and active lifestyle. Achieve a balance between the environment and growth. Promote good governance and justice. Increase focus on education, family and public safety. By achieving these objectives we can improve our ranking.“

The islands could only manage third place in just one area: Best Quality of Life, behind the British Virgin Islands, placed first, and Bermuda second.

In the survey Cayman ranked joint second for the highest GDP per capita for 2010, behind Bermuda and alongside the US Virgin Islands, but was not listed in any other category.

The ‘FDI Caribbean & Central American Countries of the Future 2011/2012’ report placed Costa Rica in overall first place as the top country of the future in the region, followed by Dominican Republic in second place, Trinidad and Tobago in third, Barbados in fourth and Panama fifth.


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