We thank to Bren Romney and to his team for great cooperation for having well organised, successful OCTA Innovation Thematic Workshop in Anguilla on 11-12 of October 2018.
La conférence internationale de l’innovation, organisée par OCTA Innovation, s’est déroulée à Ponta Delgada aux Açores du 11 au 14 avril 2017. Elle a rassemblé des représentants de Pays et Territoires d’Outre-mer (PTOM) de l’Union européenne, le gouvernement açorien, la Commission européenne et des experts en innovation, afin d’étudier la manière dont l’innovation favorise le développement durable dans les petites îles ainsi que de mettre en place une certaine coopération et de créer un terrain propice à de futures initiatives.
Les piliers et valeurs à la base d’une société ont été examinés, tout comme les capacités et les besoins de toutes les parties prenantes pour les étayer. La mise en œuvre de divers types et niveaux d’innovation a été envisagée. La vision d’une société prospère et inclusive sur le plan économique doit reposer sur l’innovation et une collaboration totale entre les acteurs publics et privés. L’innovation doit soutenir toutes les parties prenantes dans la société, tant dans le domaine économique que social. De plus, son rôle s’avère essentiel pour lutter contre les problèmes liés à la raréfaction des ressources naturelles, au changement climatique et au développement durable. Les gouvernements doivent garantir de bonnes conditions pour promouvoir l’innovation. Les responsables de l’innovation des Pays et Territoires d’Outre-mer de l’Union européenne, membres actifs d’OCTA Innovation réunis aux Açores, s’engagent à entretenir ces dynamiques.
Les gouvernements doivent prendre les devants en ce qui concerne l’innovation systémique dans tous les secteurs, en encourageant la création de partenariats entre des entités publiques et privées, ainsi qu’en promouvant le partage des connaissances et le renforcement des capacités. L’objectif est de mettre en place plusieurs centres d’excellence régionaux thématiques dans les PTOM, en particulier pour les secteurs où certains PTOM ouvrent déjà la voie, et d’assurer un partage de l’expertise entre les PTOM et avec les différentes régions.
Directeurs de l’Innovation: Anguilla, Bren Romney; Aruba, Bianca Peters; Bonaire, Dianne Boelmans; Curaçao, Fiona Curie; Groenland, Lars Balslev; Iles Cayman, Jamaal Anderson; Iles Malouines, Michael Betts; Iles Turques et Caiques, Alexa Cooper-Grant; Iles Vierges Britanniques, Lizette George; Montserrat, Angela Estwick; Nouvelle Calédonie, Jean-Michel Le Saux; Polynésie française, Bran Quinquis; Pitcairn, Leslie Jaques; Saba, Menno Van der Velde; St. Barthélemy, Pascal Peuchot; St. Hélène, Niall O’Keeffe; St. Pierre-et-Miquelon, Olivier Gaston; St. Eustatius, Roy Hooker; St. Maarten, Jude Houston; Wallis et Futuna, Carole Manry.
Chef de projet d’OCTA Innovation, Milan Jezic von Gesseneck: email@example.com
As International Affairs Analyst at the Cayman Islands Cabinet Office and Cayman Innovation Manager, I am glad to host the OCTA Innovation mission to the Islands starting on the 21st of November. One of the goals of this mission is to exchange information with government decision-makers, and key public and private stakeholders on opportunities for innovation and the best practices on the three islands: Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. The visit will raise awareness about opportunities to implement innovation across all sectors for economic growth of the Cayman Islands and the prosperity of society.
Areas for innovation in the Caymans already identified by the Government include the increased use of renewable energy and a national recycling programme. There are plans to make Little Cayman the first carbon neutral island in the Caribbean with an internationally recognised green destination certification.
During his Mission, Milan Jezic von Gesseneck will also meet with the members of the Cayman Islands’ Chamber of Commerce and the Department of the Environment, where the focus will be on the green and blue economies. A workshop on innovation is foreseen during the Mission that will engage key stakeholders on innovation and creativity. Systemic innovation and OCTA Innovation’s role in propelling innovation in the OCTs are also on the agenda.
The green and blue economies, entrepreneurship, knowledge management and the branding and marketing practices of micro and small and medium-sized enterprises will be the focus of OCTA Innovation’s meetings this month with Caymans’ personalities and entities in both the public and private sectors.
The scope for innovation across sectors of the Cayman Islands’ economy and potential support from OCTA Innovation, will be explored by the Team Leader, Milan Jezic von Gesseneck, on mission to the islands from 21st November. The benefits of exchanging best innovation practices between the Caymans with other entrepreneurs and individuals in the region will also be discussed.
OCTA innovation will also extend an open invitation to the Caymans to participate in its initiatives to highlight its achievements and best practices. Bruzz events are an opportunity the Caymans to put the spotlight on their innovations, whereas OCTA Innovation’s Awards draw attention to outstanding individuals and entities in the fields of business, innovation and creativity (BIC) and are another opportunity for Caymans’ promotion.
The Cayman Islands is investing more in sources of renewable energy to reduce dependency on polluting and expensive imported fossil fuels. With an abundance of brilliant sunshine and constant Caribbean breezes, the switch to clean or renewable energy sources would seem an obvious move.
Every year, the Cayman Islands continues to make improvements to its solar energy industry. It is harnessing the power of the sun to produce two forms of power: solar photovoltaic (PV), which converts sunlight into electricity and solar thermal which heats water.
Renewable energy systems can be installed in existing homes, both new builds and older properties. Renewable energy equipment such as solar panels are duty-free for residential homeowners.
The Cayman Islands’ Department of Environment (DoE) launched in November 2016 a mobile ‘app’ designed to combine information from its marine enforcement officers with input from the public. It will assist enforcement of laws on both protection of marine and terrestrial species.
SIREN Cayman allows both the public and officials to enter information about sightings of important species and report possible infractions of conservation law. In view of the recent extension of the protected reef shelf around Cayman from 14% to 40%, it will be an extremely useful tool to assist local enforcement officers in policing marine parks.
The app was created with the help of researchers from Bangor University, Wales, United Kingdom. Reports from the public will be combined with the information that comes in from enforcement officers and other important data held by the DoE, such as who holds permits to do what, including the use of fish pots and turtling.
The aim is also to engage the public much more in marine and terrestrial protection.
The provision of healthcare is a key innovation to diversify the Cayman Islands’ economy. Health City Cayman Islands is a 140-bed hospital which opened on Grand Cayman in February 2014. Specialising in cardiology, cardiac surgery and orthopedics, it is able to offer services at 30 to 40 percent of the going market rate in the United States, according to Manu Ramachandar, Health City’s Business Development Manager.
This first advanced medical facility and tertiary care hospital in the Cayman Islands provides healthcare to adults and pediatric patients who largely reside in the Caribbean, Latin American, United States, and Canada.
In 2016, Health City opened a Canadian satellite office in Hamilton Ontario staffed by local Canadian healthcare professionals who are working with medical practitioners to move their patients off long waiting lists and refer them to Health City Cayman Islands for non-emergency procedures.
Entrepreneurs in the Caymans are benefitting from the COSME programme financed by the European Union’s 10th European Development Fund (EDF). It is contributing to sustainable and climate-resilient economic diversification and prosperity of the Caribbean OCTs by improving the competitiveness of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs).
Altogether, MSMEs in 12 Caribbean OCTs are participating in targeted events, workshops and networking exercises, all aimed at enhancing and promoting micro and small and medium-sized businesses.
The programme allowed Olivia B, a leading fashion designer from the Caymans to take part in in ‘Summer Sizzle’ – an event showcasing the region’s latest fashions – held in the British Virgin Islands in July 2016. “It was great to be in an environment of like-minded creative individuals because I don’t feel that there is a lot of promotion of art here in Cayman and fashion design is bottom of the artistic list,” Olivia told a Caymans’ newswire. “It was therefore great to be able to learn more from the wider Caribbean perspective.”
Chuck Thompson, Vice President of the Cayman Islands Agricultural Society, has also benefitted from COSME funding. He participated in an interactive four-day workshop in Suriname, aimed at bringing together business owners within the agricultural sector from the 12 OCTs. “It was a rigorous four days that were well-packed with lots of activities,” Mr. Thompson said. “The first two days were spent visiting farms and fisheries, talking with owners about issues such as agriculture and animal husbandry, through to packaging and processing, certifications and so on. It was eye opening to see the process from A to Z. We then spent two days at a conference which offered unique networking opportunities, allowing us to see how we could work together as agricultural businesses within the Caribbean territories,” he told the Caymans’ newswire.
Also developed under the programme: a platform – CaribConnect – matches entrepreneurs with mentors, as well as with investors and financing institutions.
Cayman Finance Chief Executive Officer, Jude Scott, has highlighted the Cayman Islands’ dedication to upholding the standards and expectations of a premier financial jurisdiction through transparency and a strong compliance culture, during a recent interview with the BBC.
The reality is not all offshore jurisdictions are made the same. We put a lot of work in, and some cases – for example our anti-money laundering regimes – have been in place for over 15 years,” Scott said. “We really look to create a strong compliance culture, and as a result we’re seeing a lot of clients who desire that kind of environment now looking to relocate into the jurisdiction.”
We’ve always modelled our jurisdiction as a top quality jurisdiction – really following global international standards,” he said. “With the Panama Papers, there was not really much impact on the Cayman Islands – actually we’ve seen a lot of positive outcome from it.”
“We’re not a tax haven,” Scott stated. “We’re a transparent jurisdiction and we’re a tax neutral jurisdiction.”
“From a tax perspective we have signed up to UK FATCA and US FATCA. We have been one of the early adopters of Common Reporting Standards – and really the vast majority of the business we do is fully transparent,” he said.
Scott also said that Cayman Finance, the private sector organisation that represents the Cayman Islands’ financial services sector, and other industry stakeholders work hard to ensure that the Cayman Islands’ financial industry is held to the highest standards and that all of those who work within the industry are of the highest calibre.
As a jurisdiction I guess it has become a part of our DNA,” he said. “We’ve really focused on being a premier jurisdiction modelled after London as well as New York and so we constantly look to seek out the best local and international talent, attract them and also retain them.”
[Cayman Statistics] The country’s estimated Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at constant prices rose by 2.0 percent in 2015. This was the highlight of The Cayman Islands’ Annual Economic Report 2015 released by the Economics and Statistics Office.
“Despite challenges from the global economy, I am pleased that the combined performance of all our productive sectors achieved a growth rate that is higher than expected,” stated the Minister for Finance and Economic Development, Hon. Marco Archer. As of the third quarter of 2015, indicators up to that period suggested that annual growth of gross domestic product (GDP) will be 1.7 percent.
The 2015 GDP growth, however, is lower than the 2.4% achieved in 2014. This performance coincided with the downtrend in global growth from 3.4% in 2014 to 3.1% in 2015, albeit US growth was stable at 2.4%. (The slowdown in global growth was due to the performances of China and other developing and emerging market countries).
The country’s GDP per capita in constant prices fell to $44,109 as the mid-year population growth outweighed the GDP growth.
Economic growth in 2015 was broad-based as all sectors expanded except the hotels and restaurants sector which declined slightly by 0.7% in 2015 as compared to a growth of 4.9% in 2014, mainly due to a slowdown in the growth of stay-over arrivals.
Meanwhile, the central government recorded in 2015 its third consecutive year of overall fiscal surplus which amounted to $116.1 million, higher compared to $93.2 million a year ago. This was achieved by a combination of higher revenue collection and lower overall spending.