By Christopher Tobutt
National Development Planning should be at the forefront of a resilient and sustainable Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce President, Shomari Scott during the Chamber’s recent Parliamentary Luncheon at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. “For the first time, sustainability and resilience are two subjects identified as Ministerial responsibilities. That’s the good news, but the challenge is now how we define and prioritize actions to put these platforms into focus,” he continued.
“How can we say we are building a resilient and sustainable society without a national blueprint with measurable goals and achievable targets? How do we measure our success? How can you manage what you can’t measure”?
“Market forces and global challenges will always distort and shift the sands of physical and social development, but we must have a rock solid vision for what we consider to be the ideal future in terms of our natural and manmade environment for those who live here. Should additional measures be taken now to preserve our environment to protect our land mass, coral reefs, marine life, mangroves, and unique creatures? Will our children be pleased with the actions that we have taken, or will they be ashamed of us for not making difficult decisions and introducing sufficient measures to protect our environment?” he asked.
With reference to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, he said that the higher aims of ‘Self-Actualization,’ could only be achieved collectively if the country had already addressed the more basic needs of safety, security, shelter and food. “We must focus on both as one can’t be achieved without the other. It’s a difficult balancing act akin to a tight rope across treacherous waters with the promise of the Caymanian dream at the other end as the destination. We can and must and will get it right as we are all invested in the most special economic miracle on earth,” he said.
Turning his attention to Financial Services, Mr. Scott Said, “Cayman’s financial services industry remains strong. We must do everything in our power to innovate, support and expand this sector which contributes more than 60% to our government coffers annually.” He praised the Ministry of Financial Services for seeking ways to ‘demystify’ Cayman’s financial services industry. “And now it’s our turn,” he said, as he introduced the follow-up to the award-winning Chamber-produced animated video series, ‘Growth Matters,’ which explained how Cayman’s economy works in clear, simple terms. “The next series will be called Financial Services Matters,’ and it aims to shattering misconceptions about the industry and explaining the services that this sector offers to our international clients is the focus of the video series. Working together, we can educate students as well as clients and investors about why this industry remains the backbone of our economy and its importance for the future.”
“Vocational & technical careers promotion, workforce development & training, micro & small business support & development and restoring economic growth are at the forefront of the Chamber’s advocacy agenda this year,” Mr. Scott said, before going on to announce ‘VoTECH Stars,’ a brand new Chamber campaign to promote the benefits of vocational and technical education in the Cayman Islands, through a series of six videos showcasing a different success-story of a young Caymanian who has already excelled in their chosen vocational or technical profession.
“We are assisting the Ministry of Education who understand the challenge and opportunity at hand… about attracting Caymanians into these fields by firstly educating and informing about the tremendous opportunities that exist. Thousands of international workers fill many of these vacancies. We must collectively do a better job of preparing, motivating, and placing Caymanians into these roles. One way is by asking Caymanians who are working in these non-traditional careers to share their stories of success whilst we elevate these career paths,” he said. “