Cayman Islands’ Special Economic Zones Recognised with 2021 Excellence Award in ESG Practices from fDi Intelligence by the Financial Times
The Cayman Enterprise City (CEC) special economic zones development project has won an Excellence Award in Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) Practices by the Financial times’ fDi Intelligence Magazine. The 2021 Free Zones Awards mark the second consecutive year for CEC to be recognised as a top free zone in the Americas.
fDi Intelligence’s annual Free Zone Awards celebrate the most promising free zones across the world. Hundreds of government entities, investment promotion agencies, economic development units, and free zones were invited to compete.
“We are honored that CEC has been recognised by fDi Intelligence for our efforts in developing a sustainable special economic zones project that prioritizes best ESG practices,” said Charlie Kirkconnell, Chief Executive Officer at CEC. “The Excellence Award in ESG Practices helps to build trust amongst foreign direct investors, reflects the quality of the CEC project, and is a testament to the importance we’ve place on our people and environment.”
Since its inception in 2011, CEC has helped to strengthen Cayman’s economy by attracting knowledge-based businesses in industries such as technology development, media and marketing, biotech, fintech, maritime, and aviation to set up a genuine physical presence in the Cayman Islands. In CEC’s first 10 years of operations the development project has had an estimated economic impact of USD $502 million on the Cayman Islands economy and is now home to over 260 special economic zone companies (SEZCs).
“A wide range of multinational companies have made CEC their platform of choice for global growth because we offer world class global mobility services; this includes accelerated business set-up, access to a thriving community of talented business professionals and entrepreneurs, and personalised relocation and operational services and support,” said Kirkconnell. “CEC’s special economic zones represent the largest innovation ecosystem in the region and include some of the world’s most innovative companies, everything from startups to globally established publicly listed companies.”
CEC has reported publicly annually since 2013 on how the concessions it and the members of the CEC community receive from the Cayman Islands Government are deployed and how the financial contribution of its activities impacts the wider economy. In 2020, CEC engaged an independent global economist to assess the CEC project. “The level of transparency demonstrates CEC’s commitment to proper Governance and the socioeconomic progress of the Cayman Islands,” reads the report by Marla Dukharan. “This clearly demonstrates your capacity as Caymanians to innovate and diversify your economic base, create resilience, and continue to distinguish your jurisdiction as world-class. As a Cayman-bred project, this is a remarkable affirmation of the immense value you have to offer in the global marketplace and your unlimited capacity as Caymanians to put your own ingenuity in service to creating a better future.”
The CEC development project has allowed the Cayman Islands to tap into the world’s top entrepreneurial talent, networks, and resources, attract innovation-driven companies and promote high value activities. New sectors offer local knowledge creation and transfer, domestic linkages to local suppliers beyond the zones, and provide income and jobs that spillover from zone-based wages spent in the wider economy. Additionally, CEC has facilitated significant knowledge transfer within the local community through its workforce development initiative, Enterprise Cayman. Networking opportunities, mentorships, workshops, special lectures, and approximately 107 internship placements have provided unique career opportunities for Cayman’s young professionals and career changers.
As an added benefit for being a part of the CEC community, special economic zone companies (SEZCs) are given complimentary membership to CEC’s corporate social responsibility programme, Enterprise Cayman. The workforce development initiative aims to connect local talent with innovative SEZCs and has facilitated significant knowledge transfer within the local community.
“Despite the global pandemic, CEC has continued to prioritise quality experiences, develop innovative opportunities, and deliver first-rate programming to ensure that zone members and residents of all backgrounds receive the right support and encouragement to develop into tomorrow’s leaders and active contributors to our ever-evolving global economy,” said Kirkconnell.
For more information about CEC visit www.caymanenterprisecity.com and for more information about CEC’s workforce development initiatives visit www.enterprisecayman.ky.