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SOURCE: Cayman Enterprise City
The Chief Executive Officer of the Caribbean's first knowledge-based Special Economic Zone brings a wealth of experience to the position. Jason Blick, who worked with successful technology and media SEZs in Dubai during the 1990's, is excited about their success in the Cayman Islands and very optimistic about the future.
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands (PRWEB) May 16, 2012
These are the early days for Cayman Enterprise City, the Caribbean’s only technology-based Special Economic Zone, and Jason Blick CEC’s young and dynamic Chief Executive Officer is brimming with optimism and excited about what he and his team are developing in the Cayman Islands. “We are doing tremendously well,” he said. “There are 5 companies now established within the Zone, 17 are in the process of being set up and another 80 plus are in the pipeline at various stages of negotiation so I couldn’t be happier.”
It is the realization of a bold concept that Blick, a finance law attorney and expert on Special Economic Zones, envisioned while working with successful SEZs in the Middle East – The Cayman Islands is a tax-neutral jurisdiction offering easy access to lucrative and emerging markets in North and Latin America. Using the experience, knowledge and insight gained from a decade in Dubai, Jason Blick set off in 2008 on a four-year search of the Caribbean region. The journey ended in the Cayman Islands. “Cayman stood out,” he said. “It has a forward-thinking government, a very dynamic community, and a wealth of support services we never had in Dubai.”
The Special Economic Zone, enabled by Cayman Islands legislation passed last year, opened for business in this January, a year after Blick and his team signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the government. The project was fast-tracked with support from the government, the Civil Service and the private sector. CEC’s master campus which breaks ground this summer, will include an Internet& Technology Park, a Biotech Park, a Media Park, a Global Commodities Park, an International Academic Park and an Outsource Park. Companies licensed to operate in the zone are globally focused and not allowed to trade in Cayman’s domestic economy.
“I was very grateful for the foresight and vision of the Premier, the Honorable McKeeva Bush,” said Jason. “Mr. Bush came to Dubai with us and saw for himself the success of the zones in the Middle East.”
Blick moved to the Middle East from England fresh out of law school because he says it was the place to be in the 1990’s. “Dubai was a new frontier where the free zones were merging technology and media- it was exhilarating!” he says. He advised operators, partners, financiers and end-users of Special Economic Zones. He watched Dubai Internet City develop from a sandy wasteland into a thriving economic hub in ten short years, and he also witnessed the positive impact that these economic powerhouses had on local economies. Jason Blick is confident that CEC will create new jobs, new industries, new businesses and new careers in Cayman and boost and diversity its economy.
His experience and ties to the Middle East have led to a strategic partnership with Dubai Multiple Commodities Centre, strengthening trade relations between the United Arab Emirates and the Cayman Islands. In a highly competitive global financial market, relationships like this benefit investors, so companies established in both zones can quickly access new markets.
“Cayman Enterprise City is the first special economic zone to house commodities teams and this is the only SEZ in the world that has a partnership with Dubai,” he said. “This is a reflection of their belief in our model and we are very excited about it.”
Jason Blick is also confident that many of the Fortune 500 companies will establish a presence in Cayman Enterprise City. “They are always watching for the next opportunity, and now because of the internet companies can conduct global sales from anywhere in the world,” he says.
Why Cayman Enterprise City? “Zero Taxes,” responds the CEO emphatically when the question is posed. “From US$12,492 a year you can quickly have your company established and operating in a tax-neutral environment. You don’t have any import duties, there is no sales tax, no income taxes, no corporate taxes, no capital gains and you can have 100% ownership of your company, and it will be tax exempt for 50 years.”
Cayman is a convenient one-hour flight from Miami and offers easy access to North America, Latin America and Europe. There is also the added benefit that Grand Cayman is a great place to live with its easy and wonderful lifestyle, great weather and friendly people.
There are some 3,000 SEZs in various parts of the world today, but Jason Blick says most are based on antiquated models for manufacturing or engineering. The future he is certain is in the 1% of Special Economic Zones focused on technology and knowledge like Cayman Enterprise City. And he has big dreams for CEC.
“I want to see the creation of the world’s best knowledge-based global IT and media center to attract entrepreneurs in a very cohesive and creative environment,” he says enthusiastically. “I want scientists to someday see Cayman as the exciting and supportive center for new ideas and concepts in science.”
About Jason Blick
Jason qualified as a Solicitor of England and Wales and has worked with Special Economic Zones since 1999. He served as Head of Berryman’s Lace Mawer in the Middle East before becoming the CEO of an emerging markets bank with operations in 11 countries across the Middle East and Asia. He became Managing Partner of FP Law, a law firm advising on Special Economic Zones. Jason has written and lectured extensively on finance law and considered an expert on Special Economic Zones. For more information on Cayman Enterprise City call +1(345)945-3722, e-mail info(at)caymanenterprisecity(dot)com or visit http://www.caymanenterprisecity.com.
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