“Building this mutual understanding, which moves both sides of the table beyond misperceptions that may be held, is vitally important to the Cayman Islands’ socioeconomic health, as well as the socioeconomic health of the countries with whom we had the opportunity to meet,” Minister Ebanks said.
Stakeholders, he noted, were keen to talk about further strengthening the global partnership to fight financial crime, as well as interests they share with the Cayman Islands, including international developments in virtual assets regulation, and sustainable finance (also called green or blue finance).
In addition to these global topics, the delegation answered stakeholders’ questions about how the Cayman Islands’ financial services and commerce industries operate from a regulatory and tax transparency perspective; and outlined our constitutional relationship with the UK as well as the Cayman Islands Parliamentary process, through which global standards and initiatives are incorporated into local acts of Parliament.
Minister Ebanks said such in-depth conversations are vital during overseas engagements, particularly when there are rotations in EU and UK staff and elected officials.
“For instance, the EU Presidency rotates every six months among the EU 27 Member States,” he explained. “Having face-to-face discussions with both the outgoing and incoming administrations gives us an opportunity to share updates, and to gain insights, with officials who have weighty responsibilities for financial services and commerce matters.”
Accompanying the Minister were the Ministry’s Parliamentary Secretary, Katherine Ebanks-Wilks; Cayman Islands Representative for the EU, Deborah Bodden; and the Cayman Islands Financial Services Representative for the UK, Gene DaCosta. The EU / UK meetings were held from 16-20 May.
For the EU/UK meetings, the delegation met representatives from:
- The EU Code of Conduct Group
- The Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union
- Directorate‑General for Economic and Financial Affairs
- Directorate‑General for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union
- EU Member States Permanent Representatives, including of the Czech Republic (incoming EU Presidency), France (outgoing EU Presidency), Germany, and Cyprus
- The Channel Islands
- Members of the UK Shadow Cabinet
- Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office
- Industry associations
- The Cayman Islands All-Party Parliamentarian Group in the House of Commons
The delegation then joined Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands representatives for the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE), from 23-25 May in Switzerland.
Adding to this list, Minister Ebanks said, “Among many highlights, one standout was meeting our Cayman Islands students who are studying in the UK. Talking with them about their studies and plans, and encouraging them to take full advantage of their opportunities while taking challenges in stride, was a proud Caymanian moment for all of us in the delegation.”
To further update the public on the visit’s outcomes, Minister Ebanks is scheduled to appear on Radio Cayman’s Talk Today programme on Tuesday, 7 June at 12:30pm. A CIGTV appearance also is planned.