There’s been a sharp rise in the number of foreign workers in the Cayman Islands. This according to a recent report from Justin Harper of Reuters.
Despite increased taxes, the number of foreign workers in the island paradise has gone from 19,927 at the end of 2011 to nearly 21,000 by December 2012.
The increase is largely the result of less stringent immigration laws that now allow five and 10-year work permits for those working in the reinsurance industry.
There’s also another reason.
The local government has also started offering work permits for foreigners investing in its property sector.
This comes at a time when the Cayman Islands eases off its storied past as a secret tax haven.
Until recently, the Cayman Islands was a favored money laundering spot where funds enjoyed tax free status.
However, all that is rapidly changing as the world’s fifth largest financial center is being pressured to follow the lead of Switzerland and the Channel Islands to be more transparent and accountable about illicit cash.
Looking to make its mark in the new era of transparency, the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority is introducing reforms that will make public the names of thousands of companies and their directors that have previously remained secret.
I see the Cayman Islands move towards greater accountability as positive global trend that was largely put into play by the UBS whistle blower scandal that shocked the international banking industry several years ago.
Transparency and Accountability.
What a concept.