Cayman and UK government work to implement shared vision

Summaries of progress towards shared goals by the Cayman Islands government and the United Kingdom (UK) were published last week, reports the Cayman Reporter. Areas prioritised by both the UK and its Overseas Territories (OT’s) last December included: security, employment, education, the environment and international financial services.

Every year OT leaders meet UK Government representatives in London, to re-affirm their commitment to a shared vision, and to determine strategies for delivery of that vision. Known as the Joint Ministerial Council (JMC), this year’s discussions will be taking place 1-4 December.

In terms of international financial services, a commitment to, ‘promote the application of high regulatory standards to deliver conditions in which legitimate financial services business can flourish’ was made. The CI JMC report reveals that the Cayman Islands signed both US and UK FATCAs in late 2013, making Cayman the first Overseas Territory to sign the UK FATCA.

It also reveals that as of early September, more than 19,000 Cayman-based financial institutions had registered on the US FATCA’s GIIN (Global Intermediary Identification Number) registry. The report also shows that the Cayman Islands was rated ‘largely compliant’ following the Global Forum’s peer review and rating process. The ratings were based on the forum’s Phase 1 assessments of member countries’ legal and regulatory frameworks, and Phase 2 assessments of their practical implementation of the global standard for tax information exchange. Additionally, it mentions that the OECD/Council of Europe Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters was extended to the Cayman Islands on 1 January 2014.

Both the CI and UK JMC progress reports are available on both government websites. Premier, Hon. Alden McLaughlin urged the Cayman Islands public to read 17-page CI report as he said it reflected the depth of Government’s commitment to consolidate ties with the UK. “Our work so far has laid a great foundation on which we will continue to build. The UK will also contribute in a number of areas, including increased access to various commercial, educational, training and other opportunities. I hope Caymanians and residents will take the time to learn more about these programmes and the advantages that they offer,” Mr McLaughlin stated.

The Premier will leave the Cayman Islands Friday to travel to London to attend the annual Overseas Territories Joint Ministerial Council (JMC) in London from 1-4 December, 2014. The JMC will bring together political leaders from the Overseas Territories and UK Ministers. Those at the meeting will also discuss strategies for promoting the security and good governance of all Overseas Territories as well as economic diversification, attracting investment, vocational education and employment.

“It is vitally important that we attend the JMC each year to keep the Cayman Islands in the forefront. Through our participation we can ensure that Cayman remains in the global spotlight and continues to build sustainable economies, create jobs and drive prosperity,” said the Hon Premier. “Once we do these things, we can ensure a better quality of life for our citizens and visitors.”

On 4 December, Mr McLaughlin will host an invitation-only dinner for current and potential future Friends of Cayman where he will deliver a speech and entertain questions. During the JMC, participants will also review and implement strategy and commitments in the 2012 White Paper ‘The Overseas Territories: Security, Success and Sustainability’.

Traveling with the Premier will be Her Excellency Gov Helen Kilpatrick, Financial Services Minister Hon.Wayne Panton, Cabinet Secretary Mr Samuel Rose, Home Affairs Chief Officer Mr Eric Bush, Joint Ministerial Council Sherpa Mr.Jason Webster and Senior Political Advisor Mr Roy Tatum. They return to the Cayman Islands on Friday, 5 December.

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