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Country Reports

Cayman Islands Country Report

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Risk Level

Low
Moderate
Elevated
High
Very High
Severe
Extreme

Overview

Executive Summary

In response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-virus pandemic, the Cayman Islands’ airports will remain closed to international flights until at least 1 October, with cruise ships barred from entry until 31 December. Concerns about the political and economic impact of Brexit for the Cayman Islands will remain high on the local agenda after the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union in January 2020 and amid the uncertainty about the future relationship between the UK and EU. One reason for that is the potential uncertainty about how aligned UK and EU authorities will be in future over aspects of financial transparency related to the Cayman’s key financial services and offshore sectors, and to what degree that will affect the attractiveness of the territory for those sectors. The Cayman Islands was placed on the EU’s tax blacklist in February 2020, signalling increased compliance measures for European companies doing business there.The influence of US economic performance is key for the Cayman’s economy, including tourism flows. Tourism visits are projected to remain null in the upcoming months because of the COVID-19-virus pandemic, signalling recession through 2020 and into 2021.
Last update: September 22, 2020

Operational Outlook

Local infrastructure is modern and extensive, notably in the telecommunications sectors, with reforms to expedite further construction work as part of the government’s post-COVID-19 economy recovery programme. The provision of utilities services is reliable. Corruption is not a major risk, although there is still capacity to promote transparency and accountability within state institutions, including the police. Bureaucratic procedures do not represent a major challenge to the private sector and authorities are committed to fostering a positive business environment at all levels. The islands have a well-educated workforce and labour-related risks are low. Hurricanes may hit the islands, but the government’s level of preparedness overall is adequate.

Last update: July 4, 2020

Terrorism

There is no specific terrorist threat targeting Cayman Islands assets from domestic or home-grown groups or targeting Western interests such as bars, nightclubs, shops, restaurants, or other places where expats and tourists may gather.

Last update: September 3, 2020

Crime

Crime levels in the Cayman Islands are low and compare very favourably with the other countries in the Caribbean region. The primary threat to visitors is petty crime. Acts of violence rarely occur and the islands are considered peaceful. Crime levels have fluctuated in recent years, although detection rates have trended down significantly in recent years. The most common crimes are theft, burglary, and drug-related offences.

Last update: September 3, 2020

War Risks

As a British Overseas territory, the Cayman Islands’ foreign affairs and defence policy remain the responsibility of the UK government. Overall, there are no significant external threats to the islands and interstate war risks are very low.

Last update: September 3, 2020

Social Stability

There are no significant trade unions in the Cayman Islands, so strike action is virtually non-existent. Any future incidents of industrial action would be quickly resolved without posing property damage risks. Protests against any potential new cruise berthing facility in Georgetown are currently unlikely given the government has withdrawn its plans to focus of handling COVID-19-related challenges. Future tourism projects could be subject to peaceful protests if they are perceived to have adverse effects on the natural environment. Other protest groups have staged demonstrations to demand lower petrol prices or more recently, to object to a court ruling that would legalise same-sex marriages on the islands.

Last update: September 3, 2020