(CMR) Deputy Governor Franz Manderson recently appointed Eric Bush to lead the soon to be operational Ministry of International Trade, Investment, Aviation and Maritime Affairs.
While Mr Bush’s appointment took effect on Monday, 4 February, 2019, he will continue to perform his duties as the Cayman Islands’ Representative in the UK and Europe, returning home in late July.
Of his new role he says: “The Ministry will focus on capitalising on our current successes whilst identifying new opportunities to secure the future of the Cayman Islands. We will aim to broaden and enhance our international image and to ensure that Government’s interactions across the globe, in areas like financial services, tourism or our aviation and maritime registries, are conducted with one voice.”
Achievements during his time in London thus far include coordinating the recent constitutional discussions, as well as the Celebrate Cayman launch event in May 2018.
Early in his tenure he revived the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Cayman Islands, a group of legislators across the United Kingdom (UK) political spectrum. He has also travelled frequently throughout the UK, in places like Cornwall and Wales, to promote the Cayman Islands.
Currently the Chairperson of the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Association (UKOTA), he has served as the Cayman Islands liaison to the European Union, attending meetings of the Overseas Countries and Territories in Brussels.
Explaining the importance of the appointment Mr. Manderson remarks, ‘It was vital that the new Ministry have a Chief Officer as soon as possible, to finalise its development, appoint staff and arrange a budget. I congratulate Mr Bush on this new role and look forward to his return to the Civil Service leadership team.’
The Deputy Governor adds that Mr. Bush was the only current Chief Officer to express interest in a transfer to the Ministry. Mr Manderson made the transfer following consultation with Premier Alden McLaughlin, who will serve as Minister for the new ministry.
The Premier says Mr. Bush’s past experience as a Chief Officer and the diplomatic skills that he displayed during his time in the UK make him the perfect choice for the new role.
“Over the last few years Eric has helped to raise Cayman’s profile in the political, private and other sectors of United Kingdom society. This new Ministry will give his skills even wider scope and help the Cayman Islands stand strong in the world as we move forward into the 21st Century.
Priorities for the new ministry include the opening of the Cayman Islands Government Office for Asia in Hong Kong, as well as recruiting a small core team, and creating strategic plans in global communication and international trade and investment.
At the moment Government has no plans to recruit staff outside of the civil service. Secondment opportunities will be available to existing civil servants until the needs of the new Ministry are better defined.
Mr. Bush was seconded as the Cayman Islands Representative for the UK and Europe for three years in July 2016. He was previously responsible for strategic policy and oversight of the office from 2013-2015, during his time as Chief Officer with responsibility for the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Prior to 2012 he served as Deputy Chief Officer responsible for the Prison, Police and Immigration, in what was then known as the Portfolio of Internal and External Affairs.
He has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Lynn University in Florida and has worked in the both the public and private sectors.