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In addition to serving in several media capacities in the Cayman Islands, including associate editor of Cayman Net News, deputy editor of the Caymanian Compass and editor of Flava Magazine, Alan also spent nine years in Cayman from 1982 until 1991 in the real estate business, ultimately becoming the project manager of an 88-plot land development in Prospect.  Alan has been a member of Cayman Islands Little League Board of Directors since 2008 and has run that organization’s adult co-ed softball programme every season since 2007. With a keen passion for the culinary arts, Alan took over the leadership of Cayman’s Slow Food chapter in early 2009.

 

Alan Markoff
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AtWater
George Town
Cayman Islands

T. 345. 623.7100
E. atw@atwaterltd.com
W: atwaterltd.com/

 

 

 

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Jason Blick: CEO of Cayman Enterprise City
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Jason Blick: CEO of Cayman Enterprise City Jason Blick: CEO of Cayman Enterprise City

 

Read our article in the Cayman Financial Review Magazine, eversion 

 

Sidebar :Cayman Enterprise City’s five campuses 


 

 In January 2011, Premier McKeeva Bush announced he’d signed a memorandum of understanding with Hon Cayman Properties to create a knowledge-based special economic zone on Grand Cayman called Cayman Enterprise City.

Hon tapped Jason Blick, a trained solicitor with more than 10 years experience working with special economic zones in the Middle East and Asia, as its chief executive officer. Blick believes Cayman Enterprise City can become one of the most important special economic zones in the region. 

 Although the campuses in Cayman Enterprise City will be modelled – albeit on a smaller scale – on the special economic zones in Dubai, Blick says there are important differences. 

“Cayman Enterprise City takes the existing special economic zone model one step further – to create the best knowledge based SEZ in the world,” he says, adding that Cayman’s location and proven financial capabilities are also important. 

“CEC will be the only zone of its kind in the Americas region and is located in a safe, English speaking, British Overseas Territory only one hour from Miami and three hours’ direct flight from New York City.” 

Cayman’s location in the Caribbean will offer easy access not only to North America, but to important emerging markets in South America, Blick said. 

“Companies appreciate the advantage of doing business from Cayman, which is on Eastern Standard Time, whereas other zones located in the Middle East or Far East suffer from the disadvantage of being on different times zones, which can be an impediment to business.” 

Cayman Enterprise City will consist of five campuses – Internet City, Media City, Commodities and Derivatives Exchange, Academic Park, and Biotechnology Park – along with an outsourcing centre. When combined, Blick says the offering is unique among special economic zones. 

“Simply put, this is the first time anywhere in the world where five particular and very different industry-specific campuses have been located together in one zone,” he said. “We intend for CEC to become the leading high-tech intellectual knowledge based zone in the Western Hemisphere.” 

Company benefits 

Companies incorporated in the Cayman Islands already enjoy a number of benefits, including no corporate tax, no capital gains tax, 100 per cent repatriation of capital and profits, and no currency restrictions.   

But Blick says there will be additional benefits for companies located within Cayman Enterprise City that aren’t available otherwise. 

“Though the Cayman Islands has always welcomed foreign direct investment, many organisations have found the incorporation process and ownership restrictions unsuitable for their operations,” he says. “Cayman Enterprise City provides for 100 per cent foreign ownership, a streamlined and efficient incorporation process and a wealth of financial benefits that are not available elsewhere.” 

Among the other financial and business-facilitating benefits that Cayman Enterprise City will offer are low, flat-rate work permit fees and efficient registration and licensing. 

In addition, Blick says Cayman offers quality of life benefits. 

“Our research has determined that lifestyle is very important to the high-ranking executives who fill the top posts within these high-tech firms and Fortune 500 companies,” he says. “Cayman’s high standard of living, incredible climate and cosmopolitan lifestyle are very appealing.” 

Blick says Cayman Enterprise City’s goal is to attract a limited numbers of high-quality new businesses to the Cayman Islands. 

“By solely focusing on the specific industry clusters... we can attract some of the world’s leading brands to the shores of the Cayman Islands,” he says. “Due to our limited capacity and desire to keep Cayman Enterprise City a small and high-end focused SEZ, our target audience will be focused on Fortune 500 companies, up-and-coming media and Internet companies, large pharmaceutical brands, commodity and derivative traders and the like – all sectors that currently have little or no presence in Cayman.” 

Depending on space and availability, Blick says Cayman Enterprise City will also consider requests from smaller companies. 

Combined, the five Cayman Enterprise City campuses will feature 500,000 square feet of Class A office space, enough to base approximately 1,000 companies in Cayman Enterprise City.  

Demand 

The demand to be established in Cayman Enterprise City is already there, Blick says. 

 “We have already been approached from companies all over the world particularly those which already have a presence in an SEZ, but see the benefits of relocating to the Cayman Islands,” he says. “All indications from the outreach to potential clients that we have already undertaken has led us to firmly believe that demand will far exceed the supply of available space.” 

Cayman Enterprise City will be small in comparison with other special economic zones in the world, meaning the developers will “choose only most ideal clientele for our zone”, Blick says.  

“Consequently getting in contact with CEC earlier rather than later would be Ideal for any company wishing to base themselves in Cayman Enterprise City. 

Relocation 

Cayman Enterprise City will assist companies wishing to establish in Cayman get situated, Blick says. 

“Our carefully chosen team of experts will ‘hold the hand’ of each company to ensure that they have a seamless and smooth transition,” he says, adding that there will be many other local companies that can help as well. 

 “Our local Cayman team led by Cindy O’Hara believes in working closely with existing local companies,” he says. “We will be reaching out to exiting local service providers such as law firms and company management firms that can establish companies in Cayman for our clients. We will be working with local recruitment agencies to assist our incoming clients with finding their local staff. We will also be working with local realtors and rental agencies to find homes for our tenants and with local moving companies to assist our clients with their moves.” 

Image 

In a time when some businesses are hesitant about establishing in offshore financial centre jurisdictions because of perception of them being tax havens, Blick says special economic zones in particular enjoy the stamp of approval by international regulators. 

“We see this almost as the panacea that companies have been looking for: A legal, legitimate way to enjoy major tax benefits that fall within the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s approved model,” he says, adding that it will be beneficial to the companies seeking to relocate as well as to the Cayman Islands’ overall standing in the global market.  

  

Island benefits 

The developer will earn a return on Cayman Enterprise City through the rental of office space and through services offered to tenants.   

“When developers invest significant funds into a country they do, for understandable reasons, expect a positive return on their investment,” Blick says, noting that there are also many benefits to the Cayman Islands. 

 “CEC is an opportunity for Cayman to diversify its economy and introduce an entire new third pillar,” he says. “It’s an opportunity for Cayman and Caymanians to benefit from thousands of new careers, many of which will be in entirely new fields that don’t yet exist in Cayman.” 

Cayman Enterprise City’s Academic Park will also offer more academic opportunities for Caymanians without having to go overseas. 

“To further the benefits to Cayman and Caymanians we are in talks with several local Caymanian developers discussing opportunities for them to develop residential offerings to those who will work within the zone,” Blick said. “Our focus is to ensure that everyone concerned gets the best out of this project inclusive of our investors, our clients and the Cayman Islands and its people.” 

Although Cayman Enterprise City has set a goal of having 20 per cent of its jobs held by Caymanians, it will also import high-income professionals from overseas who will create economic activity by spending money with local merchants. 

 CEC 


 

 For more information contact:
Jason Blick
Chief Executive Officer
Cayman Enterprise City
T. +1 (345) 945 3722
E.  Jason.Blick@CaymanEnterpriseCity.com
W. www.CaymanEnterpiseCity.coM
 

  

 
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