Cayman Islands Government Office UK

Annual Report 2019

Foreword by André Ebanks

My term at the Cayman Islands Government Office UK (CIGO-UK) as Cayman Islands Representative to the UK and Europe began on 2 September 2019. Following three reconnaissance visits to London in the spring and summer of 2019. I hit the ground running with many meetings with key stakeholders and introduction meetings with Parliamentarians as well as studying the positive impact CIGO-UK had before my tenure, so I could determine how to keep CIGO-UK moving from strength-to-strength particularly in such a dynamic time of transition for the United Kingdom.

As I believe readers will see, the achievements and developments of CIGO-UK since starting the post in September 2019 to end December 2019 are reflective of the commencement of 2019 until August 2019 under my predecessor, Eric Bush, whereby CIGO-UK has grown accustomed to being active, energetic and informative.    

Highlights for me within the four months I was in office for 2019 were the honour of laying a wreath at the Cenotaph for the Cayman Islands at the National Service of Remembrance, a very successful event in Manchester with the Caymanian students and our Annual Friends of Cayman Dinner.

Furthermore, through attendance at the Labour Party conference, combined with our first ever Labour fringe event in conjunction with Cayman Finance, we are ensuring that the Cayman Islands are represented at the forefront of political discussions, armed with responsible and accurate facts about our country and its industries, in particular our financial services industry. Similarly, CIGO-UK had a strong showing at the Conservative Party conference, hosting a successful panel discussion and a networking event to ensure the Cayman Islands remains engaged and seen as positively as possible in both of the main political fora.

I am looking forward to continuing this level of productivity for the Cayman Islands in the UK and Europe into 2020.

André Ebanks
Cayman Islands Representative to the United Kingdom & Europe

Overall Nature & Scope

The Cayman Islands Government Office in the United Kingdom (CIGO-UK), established in 1982, supports the extension of the Cayman Islands Government (CIG) activities in the United Kingdom and Europe. The office provides a contact point for Caymanian stakeholders, promotes economic, social, cultural and political understanding of the Cayman Islands, and provides consular and other general governmental services to Caymanians in the United Kingdom and Europe.

The office provides advice and information to
CIG on events, policies and developments in the UK and Europe based on press and media reports, parliamentary reports, European Union reports, trade reviews, financial publications, statistical data etc.

Mission & Functions
  • Support the extension of all Cayman Islands Government activities in the United Kingdom and Europe.
  • Act as a contact point for and provide consular services to Caymanians (especially Caymanian students) and other stakeholders in the United Kingdom and Europe.
  • Promote a better economic, social, cultural and political understanding of the Cayman Islands.
  • Gather and disseminate information.
  • Develop and maintain strategic links.
  • Facilitate inward investment opportunities by seeking out and providing accurate information to potential investors.
  • Represent the Cayman Islands in the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Association (UKOTA), the EU Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA), and at other official or ceremonial events.
  • Improve and strengthen the country’s position – politically, economically, and commercially – within the United Kingdom and the European Union.
Consular Services & Policy Advice

This includes provision of assistance to Caymanians residing, studying or visiting the United Kingdom and Europe; arrangements of visa, work permit and other immigration assistance to persons visiting or relocating to the Cayman Islands; provision of support and coordination of disaster response efforts. 

Furthermore, provision of assistance within our capability to Caymanians who are experiencing distress in the UK and Europe has become more prevalent, including assistance to those facing social services or justice system needs. 

Provision of policy advice and information to the Cayman Islands Government on events, policies and other developments in the United Kingdom and Europe such as feedback concerning environmental matters, gender affairs, financial services developments and certain jurisprudence. Facilitation of such feedback bolsters CIGO-UK’s role as a central conduit for CIG in the United Kingdom and Europe for external stakeholders, Her Majesty’s Government, the European organisations.

In addition to the provision of these services day-to-day, relevant policy and governmental updates are gathered or shared as follows 

Media Monitoring: Working with UK media monitoring companies to produce regular reports to regarding Her Majesty’s Government affairs and latest developments that affect or mention the Cayman Islands and advising Cayman Islands Government Ministries, Departments, and Statutory Authorities as needed.

Website: Continued development of the CIGO-UK website www.cigouk.ky for dissemination of information about the Cayman Islands, the CIGO-UK and Cayman Islands Government Activity in the UK. Development of Social Media channels. Monthly reports and news published by month throughout the year on cigouk.ky

 

Videography: Development of a videography programme to disseminate video content to UK stakeholders, Cayman Islands external media, internal Government Communications and Friends of Cayman, including reportage videos of conferences and events, promotional videos about the activities of the CIGO-UK and briefing updates from Eric Bush and André Ebanks. 

Our People

January-August:
Mr. Eric Bush JP, serves a dual role as the Cayman Islands Representative to the UK and Europe and Head of CIGO-UK  and Chief Officer of the Ministry of International Trade, Investment, Aviation and Maritime Affairs.

September-December:
Mr. André Ebanks
is the Cayman Islands Representative to the UK and Europe and Head of CIGO-UK.

Currently a total of 5 permanent staff (4 Caymanians and 1 British) as described and pictured below.

In addition to Mr. André Ebanks:

Charles Parchment, Deputy Representative

Phillippa Knights, Assistant Representative (Culture, Social & Student Affairs)

Dennison Miller, Assistant Representative (Consular Affairs)

Rahat Siddiqi, Business Manager

CIGO-UK also contracts external consultants when it is requires specialist advice and/or assistance with material projects.

Cornish Connections Cayman Islands

From left to right: Denison Miller, Charles Parchment, André Ebanks, Phillippa Knights, and Rahat Siddiqi

KEY 2019 ACHIEVEMENTS

The Cayman Islands Government Office liaises with Her Majesty’s Government, policymakers, and international organisations; participates in and arranges meetings, conferences, functions and official visits; liaises with relevant private sector stakeholders; attendance at official functions; administers and supports the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Cayman Islands and attends to the UK Overseas Territories Association and the EU Overseas Countries and Territories Association meetings and  related actions.

Highlights of this work in 2019 include the following. 

Diplomatic Engagement

Continued work with UKOTA and OCTA as well as the Friends of Cayman group, primarily to disseminate information about the Cayman Islands.

New Ministry Establishment 

Opening of Ministry of International Trade, Investment, Aviation and Maritime Affairs.

Constitutional talks

Facilitated and assisted Premier’s Office with arrangement of constitutional discussions with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. 

Inaugural UK/OT Trade Summit

Designed, co-ordinated and executed the inaugural UK/OCT International Trade Summit. This involved assisting with bringing major delegations from across the Overseas Territories and the UK to the Cayman Islands.

Political Engagement

Continued and sustained engagement with UK elected officials remained active in 2019, including the hosting and arranging panel discussions and events at the annual political party conference of both major UK political parties. 

Premier in London – April 2019

Labour Party Conference Brighton – September 2019

Conservative Party Conference Manchester – October 2019

National Service of Remembrance

Cayman Islands Representative invited to lay wreath for Caymanian persons at historic Remembrance Day ceremony in London.

Monaco Outreach

A Cayman Islands trade delegation led by the Ministry of International Trade, Investment, Aviation and Maritime Affairs (MITIAMA) laid the groundwork for a visit from HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco in 2020.

Royal Visit 2019

On the last day of their tour through the Caribbean, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall spent the day in the Cayman Islands. 

Friends of Cayman Reception & Dinner

London, United Kingdom – The Cayman Islands Government London Office hosted a Friends of Cayman dinner on Thursday evening.

The CommonWealth At 70

Cayman Islands featured in ‘The Commonwealth at 70: From Westminster to the World’ book.

On 28 April 1949, the London Declaration was signed, marking the birth of the modern Commonwealth. A unique association of 53 independent states, both small and large, the Commonwealth consults and cooperates in the common interests of its 2.4 billion peoples, and in the promotion of international understanding. 

The CommonWealth At 70

Cayman Islands featured in The Commonwealth at 70: From Westminster to the World book.

On 28 April 1949, the London Declaration was signed, marking the birth of the modern Commonwealth. A unique association of 53 independent states, both small and large, the Commonwealth consults and cooperates in the common interests of its 2.4 billion peoples, and in the promotion of international understanding.

In the 70 years since the declaration was signed, the value of this partnership has repeatedly been reaffirmed. It has helped to strengthen governance, build inclusive institutions and promote justice and human rights.

Written by academics and experts, The Commonwealth at 70 is the History of Parliament Trust’s official commemorative album to mark this anniversary.

A thought-provoking and beautifully designed hardback book, it brings together key stories of best practice, acting as a springboard for further debate, and prompting discussion on all aspects of the member states. It also offers an insight into the major Commonwealth institutions, organisations and initiatives. 

The Cayman Islands Government Office in the UK (CIGO) is situated on Dover Street, in the heart of Mayfair, London.

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