(CMR) Marking a historic moment, the Cayman Islands Government's office in Washington, DC, was opened officially on Thursday, 26 January, by the Ministry of Financial Services and Commerce.
Approximately 60 persons, including officials from fellow Caribbean countries, representatives from the British Embassy, former members of the US Congress, DC industry stakeholders, as well as visiting Cayman Islands industry stakeholders, commemorated the occasion during a reception at The City Tavern Club in George Town, Washington, DC.
For the Cayman Islands, His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Martyn Roper; and Minister of Financial Services and Commerce, the Hon. André Ebanks spoke during the event. The Government's representative for the US and Canada, Mr. Chris Duggan, hosted the reception.
Noting the significance of the opening, the Governor noted that the UK fully supports the office and its remit. Speaking after the event, he also noted that plans for the remaining two locations, to cover the EU and Asia, are progressing well, also with the UK's support.
Minister Ebanks, himself the former London-based Government representative for the UK and Europe, wished Mr. Duggan all the best. He underscored that the representative's role affords greater opportunities for providing a true and accurate record of the Cayman Islands to US elected officials, department staff, industry representatives, and media.
Like the remit of the Government's long-established representative's office in the UK, the representatives in the three new offices will cover all of the Government. While Mr. Duggan covers the US and Canada, Ms. Deborah Bodden is Government's representative for the EU; and Mr. Gene DaCosta is Government's representative for financial services in the UK/EU and in Asia. Government's representative for the UK is Dr. Tasha Ebanks-Garcia.
As part of the DC office opening program, Mr. Duggan, Mr. DaCosta, and the Ministry's Chief Officer Dr. Dax Basdeo, accompanied Minister Ebanks to meetings, including with senior staff of US elected officials and industry stakeholders.
Mr. Duggan was appointed to the post in 2021. After completing the required US protocols, the office was officially launched on 26 January 2023. The office is located at 529 14th St NW, Washington, DC.
“The process for establishing an office in an overseas jurisdiction requires a number of approvals. Among others, the Cayman Islands Government thanks the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office through the British Embassy in Washington, DC; the US State Department; and our own Ministry of District Administration and Lands, which approved the DC office location in accordance with Government policy,” Minister Ebanks explained.
The official opening of the DC office followed the Cayman Finance Breakfast Briefing and a reinsurance roundtable, both of which took place on Tuesday, 24 January.