George Town, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands (17 May 2022) – Cayman Enterprise City (CEC) has publicly released its annual Economic Impact Assessment on the special economic zones (SEZs) development. Written by Marla Dukharan, global economist and leading advisor on Caribbean region economic performance initiatives, the report assesses the economic and socioeconomic impact of the ever-growing CEC development project, demonstrating the project’s substantial impact on the Cayman Islands economy.
“The results from the 2021 Economic Impact report are a testament to the success of CEC as well as to the strength of the jurisdiction. CEC’s mission has always been to attract new knowledge-based industries to the Cayman Islands, to provide a world-class platform for innovative businesses to flourish, and to serve the needs of our community by helping to diversify our economy. Our community efforts include our continued investment to non-profit workforce initiative Enterprise Cayman, which is designed to help Caymanians and residents with access to high-quality learning experiences and opportunities to pursue careers in the technology and innovation sectors” said Charlie Kirkconnell, CEO of Cayman Enterprise City.
The independent assessment outlines the significant contributions the CEC development project has made to the Cayman Islands economy since its inception 10 years ago, as well as a look to future benefits for Caymanians, local industry, government, academia, and non-profit organisations.CEC’s first 10 years of operations have had an economic impact of USD 662 million on the Cayman Islands economy. This includes the project’s direct impact and indirect impact, as well as government revenues. Importantly, the trajectory of CEC’s impact is on the rise with an estimated economic impact of USD 160 million in 2021, demonstrating that project continues to deliver on the vision of a diversified economy of the future that benefits all who live in the Cayman Islands.
Key finding in the report include:
- A growing proportion of Caymanian workers at CEC Special Economic Zone companies, up 4% year on year, from 12% in 2020 to 16% in 2021. We anticipate this number growing significantly with CECs continued contributions to the education sector.
- CEC spent USD 17 million on construction in from 2011-2021, creating a total economic impact of USD 44 million since inception, generating 172 jobs in the construction industry. 55 of these were generated in 2021 alone, with a further 95 expected to be created in 2022 as further construction ramps up.
- The impact on government strategic policy goals has been substantial, with 255 students and adults benefitting from interactive workshops, mentorships, internships, and work placements throughout CEC in 2021. This knowledge transfer to the local community will prepare the local workforce for the industries of tomorrow.
- Government revenues collected from CEC in 2021 amounted to USD 5.5 million, bringing the total lifetime gross (2011-2021) to USD 22.7 million. CEC continues to operate with zero capital outlays from government, while providing valuable insights to policymakers with the intent of supporting the development of future industries.
- CEC directly supports 7 out of the 10 Broad Outcomes outlined by the government it its Strategic Policy Statement 2022/2023, notably the improvement of education to promote lifelong learning and greater economic mobility, and the provision of solutions to improve the well-being of Cayman’s people.
The report concludes that the Cayman Islands’ economy is set to dramatically benefit from the continued growth of CECs target industries, outpacing current industries that have failed to reach the levels of growth seen before the 2008 Financial Crisis. “CEC is allowing us to tap into growth that our mature, traditional industries have not seen in the recent past,” the report by Dukharan reads. “Since the Global Financial Crisis of 2008/2009, the only sector to have reached 10% GDP growth in the Cayman Islands was the Construction sector in 2019.” The report then goes on to lay out the expected growth rates of Industries of the Future, including a 39.7% growth rate in the Artificial Intelligence sector, and 24.6% growth in Smart Contracts to name a few.
“Cayman Enterprise City is 100% Caymanian owned and led, and this is something we should all be proud of,” said Kirkconnell. “Through transparent reporting, community building, and sustainable development initiatives, we aim to demonstrate our capacity as Caymanians to innovate and diversify our economic base, create resilience, offer immense value, and continue to distinguish our jurisdiction as a world-class hub for innovation.”
For more information about CEC visit www.caymanenterprisecity.com and to download a copy of the Economic Impact Assessment (click here).