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Premier meets with Baroness Warsi

Baroness:Cay premGRAND CAYMAN, Cayman Islands – Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin has met with Senior Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Chairperson of the Global Islamic Finance and Investment Group The Right Hon. Baroness Sayeeda Warsi in London.

The Group was announced at the World Islamic Economic Forum on 30 October, 2013, and the Premier is in London attending the first meeting of Global IFIG at Lancaster House.

Ten of the world’s 25 fastest growing markets are Muslim majority countries and globally, Islamic investments are set to grow by CI$2.4 trillion by the end of 2014. British landmarks, including the Olympic Village and the Shard skyscraper, have been financed with Islamic investments, as have Britain’s first deep-sea container port and the Battersea power station.

“Over the next 12 months Global IFIG hopes to make concrete recommendations to governments, regulators and the industry to help secure Islamic Finance’s place within global cross-border finance,” Baroness Warsi wrote in a letter addressed to the Hon. Premier. “Your participation will be an important aspect of this work.”

The Premier was appointed by the FCO to the Global IFIG along with Bermuda Premier Hon. Craig Cannonier as well as CEOs and presidents of a wide range of global banks.

There are many reasons for Cayman’s popularity among Islamic investors. As a British Overseas Territory, the Cayman Islands is politically stable and its laws are based on the English common law system. Since English law is the preferred governing law for Islamic law finance transactions, it makes sense for the offshore element to be based on English law.

Cayman law recognises the concept of a trust and it has proved flexible in response to the needs of the growing Islamic finance industry. Companies are already permitted to register their names in Arabic as well as English. Secondly, issuers could be categorised as mutual funds, meaning they would need to be regulated under the Mutual Funds Law.

Cayman is one of the largest banking centres in the world in terms of assets and has retained a rating of ‘Aa3’ from Moody’s continuously since 2000. The outlook for the rating is stable, encouraging investors to have utmost confidence in the jurisdiction. Islamic Finance is growing 50 per cent faster than traditional banking. Those attending the meeting will work to identify the key global opportunities and barriers facing Islamic Finance, both those currently in the market and those that may appear in the future.

Cayman has a high standard of professional services with lawyers, auditors, trust companies and fund administrators familiar with complex cross-jurisdictional structures. The banks are viewed as reliable and responsive and the local infrastructure for communications is sophisticated.

While in London, Mr. McLaughlin is having separate meetings with FCO Minister Mark Simmonds, the UK Treasury and the Cayman Islands Government Representative Lord David Blencathra regarding the budget and various Cayman Islands Government projects.

He returns to the Cayman Islands on Friday, 28 March, 2014.

Cayman Islands Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin poses with The Right Hon. Baroness Sayeeda Warsi in London. Photo: Eric Bush


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