Cayman Enterprise City (CEC) has recently released its annual estimated economic impact report. The report, which was independently compiled by Berman Fisher, estimates the 2019 impact of the CEC special economic zones project on the local economy to have exceed USD $50 million for the second year in a row. This brings the CEC’s total local economic impact since inception to over USD $260 million.
“We consider that this result again proves the wisdom of the Cayman Islands Government in greenlighting our project in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis,” said Charlie Kirkconnell, Chief Executive Officer at CEC. “While the broadening of Cayman’s economic base away from such a heavy reliance on financial services and tourism has always been an important part of our mission, the CEC project’s continued and growing contribution to Cayman’s economic diversification effort and GDP has never been more important than it is now.”
There are approximately 240 companies established within CEC’s three special economic zones (SEZs), which are known as Cayman Tech City, Cayman Commodities & Derivatives City, and Cayman Maritime & Aviation City. Of the 240 SEZ companies, approximately 175 are technology-focused businesses.
“Notably, the 2019 economic impact numbers include a substantial increase in monies spent by CEC on its main campus development and on promoting the jurisdiction and SEZs – as a platform for growth, and as the ideal place for entrepreneurs to launch their next project,” explained Kirkconnell. “Our efforts include our continued investment in programmes designed to help build a thriving local knowledge-and technology-focused community and workforce. This commitment includes a five-year investment as the Founding Partner of the Digital Cayman initiative.”
While the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic will present some significant challenges, Kirkconnell says that, “CEC is determined not to pause or cancel its programmes but rather to change the way they are delivered.” The company’s internship and mentorship programmes are now offered remotely, as are CEC’s popular “Tech Talks” series, professionally led workshops for businesses, and soft-skills training programmes. CEC has also launched a code education fund to assist those interested in training (or retraining) for a career in tech, continues its efforts to help local candidates find available job opportunities, and is assisting with the effort to source donated computers for students in need.
“CEC understands its role within Cayman’s economy very well and we are committed to delivering a first-rate product that stays true to our mission,” added Kirkconnell. “By continuing on this path, we project that the already significant impact of our project will become more and more substantial in the years ahead and will in turn help drive much needed economic growth for the country.”