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Maria Zingapan speech at Caribbean Statisticians Meeting in Cayman Islands

Welcome Remarks by Ms. Maria Zingapan, Director, Economics and Statistics Office – Cayman Islands At the Opening Ceremony of the 42nd Meeting of the Standing Committee of Caribbean Statisticians

9:00-10 AM, 23rd October 2017
Marriott Resort, Grand Cayman

With the protocol established by the Master of Ceremony, I take immense pleasure and pride in reiterating the warm sentiment conveyed in the video – welcome to the Cayman Islands!

It is a great honor and pleasure to welcome you, on behalf of the Economics and Statistics Office, to this Opening Ceremony of the 42nd Meeting of the Standing Committee of Caribbean Statisticians, the 27th Regional Census Coordinating Committee, and the 10th Regional Statistical Research Seminar.

We are grateful for the opportunity to host this year’s Meetings, despite its timing in the midst of an extremely busy survey season. This is the first time that the Cayman Islands is hosting the Meetings, and we value it as an opportunity in contributing in a modest way to the process of forging a common understanding of where we are in our statistical development as a region, as well as the emerging challenges, and key initiatives for the future mainly the Regional Strategy for the Development of Statistics, and its twin, the Action Plan for Statistics in the Caribbean. These are initiatives that we believe, if embraced, will positively impact the long-term development of regional statistics, and more so, the responsiveness of official statistics to the ever increasing demands for quality information. In view of the inherent vulnerability of our small islands to disasters and global economic vicissitudes, the importance of the work we are embarking on is even more critical to understanding and mitigating these risks. On the business process side, constantly changing statistical standards have to be met to protect the integrity of official statistics.

Indeed, we believe that the time, energy and financial resources that have been poured into the logistical preparation for these Meetings are seeds of collaboration towards the long-term success of these initiatives, not only by the Economics and Statistics Office but also by the various agencies that have willingly and patiently assisted us, our local partners in statistical development – the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, the Office of the Governor, the Government Information Service whose staff produced the wonderful welcome video, the Immigration Department, the Department of Tourism, Facilities Management, Public Works Department, and the Protocol Office.

I also welcome you on behalf of the members of the Cayman Islands’ National Statistics Coordination Committee, who will be our strategic partners in advocating for, and hopefully, in implementing the local adoption of the Regional Strategy for Statistical Development over the long-term.

We appreciate and are thankful to God for everyone’s presence, but especially so our colleagues from our neighboring jurisdictions hit in varying degrees by hurricanes Irma and Maria (they should have chosen a gentler name) – Antigua and Barbuda, Turks and Caicos, Bahamas, and St. Kitts and Nevis. Our colleagues and dear friends from the hardest hit jurisdictions – Anguilla, British Virgin Islands and Dominica – will be greatly missed.

To conclude, I pray for a very productive week ahead during the Meetings, and a great time outside the Meetings, the Cayman kind!

Thank you, and may God bless us all!


IMAGE: Maria Zingapan FILE


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