Commercial and financial hubs or funnels exist all throughout the world. For instance, major port cities in northern Europe such as Rotterdam or Hamburg serve as commercial entry points not only for their national markets, but also for the European Union as a whole. Therefore, in terms of trade, it is hard for countries like Switzerland or Liechtenstein to determine the exact origin and balance of their international imports because they are purchased through other national markets.
Similarly, in the case of financial transactions and foreign investments, there are major global hubs such as Luxembourg, Hong Kong, Panama, and the Cayman Islands. For example, some of the benefits of investing through an entity that is based in the Cayman Islands are that legal incorporation is simple and inexpensive. Likewise, no company officer needs to be a resident of the Cayman Islands, a register of shareholders and company minutes is not required, and the company is not required to hold any sort of annual meeting. Furthermore, the Cayman Islands does not charge any sort of capital gains tax, income tax, or inheritance tax, nor does the government require any public filing of the company’s financial statements. Currently, there are approximately 93.000 companies registered in the Cayman Islands.
Economics and Agribusiness in the Cayman Islands
The Cayman Islands are a small archipelago nation and British dependency located in the Caribbean, south of Cuba and west of Jamaica. Today, the Cayman Islands have a total population of almost 59.000 citizens, the vast majority of which live in an urban setting, notably the capital city of George Town with 31.000 inhabitants. Meanwhile, the median age in the Cayman Islands is 40 years old. In economic terms, the Cayman Islands have a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of some US$2.5 billion, in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP), which is divided into 1% agriculture, 8% manufacturing, and 91% services. Similarly, it is estimated that the agricultural industry employs 2% of the national labor force, while manufacturing employs 19% and services employ another 79%. Furthermore, the agriculture industry utilizes 11% of the national territory, while another 53% is forested.
Within manufacturing, the national industry is focused on construction and furniture. Likewise, a large amount of the Islands’ economy is dependent on the banking, tourism, and services sectors. Simultaneously, the country’s agricultural industry has as main products fish, vegetables, fruit, livestock, and turtle farming. In terms of trade, the Cayman Islands benefit from access to the markets of the United Kingdom. During 2015, the Cayman Islands imported US$2.2 billion worth of goods and exported US$438 million, resulting in a trade deficit of US$1.8 billion. Furthermore, the Caymans Islands’ main export, representing 54% or US$236 million of the country’s total in 2015, were recreational boats. Likewise, the country’s main import that same year, representing 27% or US$603 million of all international purchases, were also recreational boats. Lastly, the main trading partners of the Cayman Islands are the United States, South Korea, and the European Union.