Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Cayman mystery tour for Chinese millionaires

Nice article from the South China Morning Post:
"Hong Kong is reportedly one of the destinations for a government delegation from the Cayman Islands, which has embarked on a "mystery tour" to the Far East. According to the Cayman News Service, Premier McKeeva Bush is leading the trip to Hong Kong and China.

The trip is a "mystery" in that while the news agency has confirmed the trip through its own sources, the premier's press officer has declined to reveal any details. The trip is believed to be connected with boosting inward investment to the Caymans.

So why should it visit Hong Kong? The two territories have happily been doing business for years and the Caymans, according to Hong Kong government statistics, is our seventh-largest source of foreign direct investment and the sixth highest destination of outward foreign investment from Hong Kong.

We use the term "investment" advisedly since most of these money flows are round-tripping or a form of money laundering used by individuals or companies seeking to conceal financial flows. Indeed, this is one of the virtues of Hong Kong's business environment that InvestHK likes to promote. But the Caymans is way below the British Virgin Islands in terms of flows to and from Hong Kong."
Indeed. Glad to see newspapers getting the story right.

A journalist based in Asia contacted TJN recently and said:
"It's getting remarkably common for delegations from secrecy jurisdictions to visit HK to drum up business."
And they said the problem of tax havens was over. No, it's getting worse all the time.


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