The Cayman Islands is widely known and respected as one of world’s foremost offshore global business leaders. People and businesses from all over the world choose Cayman for a myriad of industries and services.
Main Industries In The Cayman Islands
The main industries in the Cayman Islands are financial services, a robust tourism product and, of course, real estate sales and property development. Finance and Tourism are commonly referred to as the two mainstays of the Cayman Islands economy but financial services is widely regarded as the main driver of the island’s economy. Along with tourism, financial services represent approximately +/- 60% of the nation’s GDP (or Gross Domestic Product). Though tourism took a hit during COVID – it is slowly trickling back as the country re-opens its borders and comes out of the pandemic and its protocols. The financial services sector continued on at a fevered clip during the pandemic and continues to be the Cayman Islands largest business/industry offering.
An Economic Overview of Cayman Finance
What is widely known is that the Cayman Islands have no direct taxation and this attributes to the lofty offshore business reputation the islands have grown over the years. There are +/- seventy thousand companies and firms doing business in the country and this includes tens of thousands of mutual funds, insurance companies, accounting firms, law offices and banking institutions. Additionally, as an international offshore financial hub Cayman’s finance product offerings are in line with global financial practices and industry standards. The reason Cayman is so desirable for these industries can be linked to many things including the aforementioned absence of direct taxation, a sturdy regulatory environment and sound infrastructure. Economic and political stability – along with a diverse and extremely skilled workforce – help making doing business in Cayman attractive to a broad swath of industries and clientele.
Construction and Real Estate Business
The real estate and construction industries are extremely strong and lucrative in the Cayman Islands. Even through COVID, building and development continued seemingly unabated though the pandemic caused (and is causing) several unique challenges. The borders closing drastically affected the amount of stay over tourism the island received but programs such as attractive “staycation” rates, staffing cutbacks and the remote working opportunities for foreigners made the situation viable. Construction, though booming, had to face staffing shortages as well as difficulty sourcing building materials as rifts in the global materials supply chain started to expose themselves. Nevertheless, building continues to run rampant and real estate has never been in greater demand. From premium beachfront homes and condos to entry-level housing and commercial real estate demand is still vastly outpacing supply. Additionally, more and more premium hotels and properties are coming online to ensure that this demand is properly and timely serviced.
Tourism and Ancillary Businesses
Tourism took a real hit during the pandemic even with all the measures put in place by government and the private sectors to mitigate it. Thousands of workers in the hospitality, food and beverage, housekeeping and leisure industries were forced to look to different areas of the world as their jobs were scaled back or disappeared altogether. Many long running businesses were forced to shut their doors for good as they could no longer sustain doing business. Tour operators, restaurant staff and scuba diving operations struggled mightily with the absence of customers, clients and guests. Some of the major resorts including the Ritz and the Westin chose this time to initiate vast remodels and refurbishment projects that were slated for years in the future. Now that things are turning around, many of these properties are seeing happy guests and employees returning to their properties with a fresh, updated look. Restaurants and tour operations are also trickling back into normal operation but there will be challenges in bringing back employees and training new staff to meet the increased demand. It is the hope of industry leaders, real estate firms and tourists alike that things will be fully back to normal soon as COVID and travel protocols fall away and the island gets back to “business as usual”.
The Cayman Islands has many more industries and businesses than what we’ve listed and we’ll get into that in other areas of our website. That being said: financial services such as accounting and law offices, real estate sales and construction & tourism/guest services/hospitality will most assuredly make up the bulk of business done on the island in the future. Caymanians, residents and guests to the island – as well as the international business community – can and will always be able to benefit from doing their business in the Cayman Islands.