Cabinet has approved the establishment of a Cayman Islands Government Asia Office based in Singapore.
The office will be headed by the Government’s Overseas Representative to Asia, Gene DaCosta. After the required administrative filings have been completed, the office is expected to have a physical presence in the final quarter of this year.
Minister for Financial Services and Commerce, André Ebanks, noted in a press release the Asia office would promote all facets of the Cayman Islands, including, among other matters:
- establishing and nurturing strong public and private sector relations;
- creating effective communication between the Cayman Islands and key countries in Asia; and
- advancing financial services interests as well as all other areas of strategic interest to the Cayman Islands and generally enhancing the reputation of the Cayman Islands.
“The office will enhance the business development efforts of the Cayman Islands’ financial services industry in the region and better capitalise on the many new business opportunities for the Cayman Islands that the Asian region has to offer,” he said.
“Singapore provides a relatively neutral position in the region, with very good flight connections from which to launch business development efforts across Asia; a strong concentration of financial services firms, as well as a thriving maritime centre that has a synergy with the activities of our Maritime Authority.”
DaCosta emphasised the efforts the Asia Office will make to develop and maintain strategic relationships in Asian jurisdictions such as Hong Kong.
He said, “Having the office based in Singapore allows the Cayman Islands Government the ability to quickly and effectively provide the necessary support our stakeholders in the region may require from time to time.
“Indeed, Hong Kong is a particularly important locale for us as it has longstanding, strong business relationships to Cayman. I’m expecting to have frequent in-person meetings in Hong Kong (likely quarterly visits at a minimum), alongside those that will occur in Singapore and other jurisdictions in Asia,” DaCosta added.
Cayman Finance CEO Steve McIntosh said, “The announcement today that Cayman is to establish a permanent representative office in Asia is extremely significant and comes as most welcome news to Cayman Finance and our members.”
McIntosh noted that over the last decade, Asia has become an increasingly important market for many of our world class financial products and service providers, representing more than US$1 trillion under management and US$450 billion of portfolio assets in the funds sector alone.
“We congratulate Mr Gene DaCosta and look forward to working closely with him in our work protecting and promoting the Cayman Islands financial sector.”
The Cayman Islands Government Asia Office will be the latest public sector overseas office, with government having a physical presence in London for decades and most recently in Washington, DC as of December 2022. Tasha Ebanks-Garcia heads up the London office while Chris Duggan is in charge of the North America Office.
Both the North America and Asia offices are under the remit of the Ministry of Financial Services and Commerce. Duggan said that since January of this year, his Washington engagements have yielded important governmental and private sector connections.
“We’ve implemented an extensive public and private sector engagement plan that has been successful in establishing and developing relationships with relevant congressional committees in DC, as well as in strengthening ties with relevant stakeholders within a number of key United States Government departments/agencies,” Duggan said. “The Minister, as part of his ongoing commitment to this mission, plans to travel again to Washington later this year to meet with key personnel from within these agencies and engage with key private sector stakeholders.”
Minister Ebanks reiterated the importance of the overseas offices in terms of advancing the country’s interests and supporting Caymanians overseas.
“Our comprehensive and considered approach to establishing overseas offices have and will continue to underpin the strong links between Cayman and our key business regions, in this case Asia and North America. As they cultivate their operations, the offices shall promote our country’s interests, initiatives and support, where appropriate, Caymanians residing overseas in these respective regions,” Minister Ebanks said.