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Cayman Economic forum

Cayman Chamber of Commerce – Economic forum: ‘Creating a Sustainable Economy’

Speakers and presenters at the Economic Forum: L-r, Omari Corbin, Nelson Dilbert, JoannaLawson, Andre Ebanks, Kenneth Bryan, Shomari Scott, and Wil Pineau

George Town – Creating a Sustainable Economy’ was the theme for this year’s Chamber of
Commerce Economic Forum on Friday 2nd February at the Kimpton Seafire Resort & Spa. The
full-day event included presentations from top government leaders including the Governor,
Premier and Deputy Premier and the Minister of Tourism, and private sector leaders in financial
services, tourism, healthcare, and infrastructure..

Omari Corbin, Vice-President, Chamber of Commerce

In her opening remarks, Her Excellency the Governor, Jane Owen spoke about the benefits of
developing the close relationship that exists between the Cayman Islands and the UK: I am
really pleased as Governor that our relationship between Cayman and the UK is very strong and
I think it is a good thing for Cayman,” she said. “We are planning on what they call bilateral
compact agreements with all our overseas territories – we are looking to do that probably in the
next couple of years with Cayman.”

 Her Excellency the Governor, Jane Owen

Hon. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, Premier and Minister for Finance, Education, District
Administration, Lands, and Cabinet Office, spoke on the theme: ‘Building for Tomorrow, Today: A
sustainable path to a successful future.’

“We must apply sustainable economic principles to government budgeting, aligning financial
decisions with long-term goals that prioritise social, environmental, and economic sustainability,”
she said. The Premier stressed the government’s commitment to maintaining a private sector-
driven economy.

“We must apply sustainable economic principles to government budgeting, aligning financial
decisions with long-term goals that prioritise social, environmental, and economic
sustainability…The key benefit that we areallng through a sustainable economy is the
preservation or improvement of the quality of life for all of our people,” Premier O’Connor-
Connolly said.

Hon. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, Premier. Administration, Lands, and Cabinet Office

Hon. Kenneth Bryan, Minister of Tourism and Ports spoke about the importance of diversifying
the tourism sector, away from the traditional ‘sun, sea and sand,’ model. The completion of the
East-West arterial road would facilitate this process by opening new opportunities for small
tourism-oriented businesses with a focus on preserving and promoting local culture, whilst
helping to distribute the spread of tourists over the entire island.

Shomari Scott in conversation with Juliana O’Connor-Connolly

Hon. André Ebanks, Deputy Premier, Minister for Financial Services and Commerce’s
presentation which linked many of the forum’s recurring themes of innovation, the effects of
technology, and the importance of a solid fiscal foundation in creating a sustainable economic
future. Minister Ebanks traced the history of Cayman’s financial services industry and how it had
consistently benefitted to rise to the challenges presented by international AML watchdog FATF.
The Cayman Islands had become an “Economic Powerhouse,” as a result, he said. New areas
for development included innovations in intellectual property legislation, enabling patents to be
enacted here and making Cayman an intellectual property hub.

Hon. Kenneth Bryan, Minister of Tourism and Ports

Shomari Scott Chief Business Officer, Health City Cayman Islands, spoke about the future of
healthcare. AI would play an increasingly significant role in pooling knowledge about health
practices, effectively giving younger doctors experience beyond their years and freeing
specialists to focus on their areas of expertise. He predicted the development of donor organs
grown from the recipients’ cells, increasing availability, and reducing the risk of rejection. 3-D
organ development using your cells – create organs and reduce the rejection rate. The way
forward was to shift healthcare from treatment-focused to preventative, incorporating healthier
lifestyles as a long-term goal of integrated healthcare.

Brandon Caruana, Co-Founder and CEO of Tenet Bank and Cartan Group.

Brandon Caruana, Co-Founder and CEO of Tenet Bank and Cartan Group spoke on the future
of technology in the Cayman Islands and its impact on all our lives. In the past, innovation
constrained large urban centres of population, he said, but now geographical limitations were
becoming less significant. “If you wanted to get something published back in the 90’s it was
consolidated to a few key big media publishing houses…. now anyone anywhere can share their
ideas instantly by uploading them to the cloud. Information distribution is now free and there are
no limits,” he said.

 Shomari Scott, Chief Business Officer, Health City Cayman Islands

Sasha Tibbetts, CUC’s Vice President of Customer Service & Technology, spoke CUC’s
sustainability goals: “Our mission is in empowering Cayman to be a global leader in sustainable
development,” he said. Sustainability was something that CUC extended to every aspect of the
company’s operation, including its human resource management, where succession planning
through training and scholarships was key.

Hon. André Ebanks MP, Deputy Premier, Minister for Financial Services and Commerce, andInvestment, Innovation & Social Development Tourism

CUC was keen to transition to renewables – such as solar – but affordability was a vital
component of sustainability too, he said. One of the barriers to not accommodating more solar
energy was that output inevitably fluctuated according to sunlight intensity and availability, which
was problematic for the distribution network. The answer was to create large banks of batteries,
Tibbetts said, that could soak up the excess electricity and make it available at times of peak

Hon. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, Premier

Chamber representatives included Nelson Dilbert, who presented the results of the Chamber’s
annual State of Business survey, President, Chamber of Commerce, Joanne Lawson, President-
Elect, Chamber of Commerce and Omari Corbin, Vice President, Chamber of Commerce, who
acted as MC for the event. “The Chamber supports growth, and we believe that when you unleash the power of the free enterprise system it lifts the tide for all vessels, big and small. For
us, small businesses are the lifeblood of our membership and, by extension the economy,” he

President Nelson Dilbert

Paul Byles, Director, FTS hosted a panel discussion: “Where to next: a look at how our economy
is shaping up in three key areas and where we are headed over the medium term. Panelists
were Dan DeFinis, Chief Executive and Engineering Officer, Davenport Development; Sarah
Hobbs, VP & Country Head, Scotiabank & Trust (Cayman) Ltd Charlie Kirkconnell, CEO,
Cayman Enterprise City.

The interactive nature of the forum meant that, throughout the day, there were plenty of
opportunities to ask presenters questions, either directly, or via phone messenger. There were
also many networking opportunities.

Sasha Tibbetts, CUC

The Chamber of Commerce thanks sponsors Dart, Ministry of Tourism and Ports, CUC, Logic,
Ministry of Finance & Economic Development, CUC, Health City Cayman Islands, Cayman
Islands Health Services Authority, B1, Cayman Enterprise City, and Tower for the invaluable

About the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce: The Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce
represents more than 600 businesses and associations across all industry sectors in the Cayman Islands. Its members employ over 18,000 people or about 45-percent of the country’s labor force. The Chamber supports, promotes, and protects the interests of its members and the public’s welfare and serves as a catalyst for positive change, connecting community, business and government.


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