Barbados Made ‘A’ list But Blacklisting Still Lurking In Background

Barbadians and their supporters who followed the signals coming from the G20 leaders in the weeks preceding their April 2, conference in London, would have been waiting with baited breath to see what measures aimed at shutting down tax or secrecy havens, emerged from the deliberations.

That anxiety was not because Barbados is either a tax or secrecy haven, of course, because those in the know argue that we are patently not so and that we are a well respected, well regulated, transparent treaty-based jurisdiction, and of our 18 tax treaties, ten are with OECD countries – and OECD countries do not generally negotiate tax treaties with tax or secrecy havens.

Rather, it’s because bitter experience has taught that sometimes the emotion of dealing with severe crises can make politicians try to share blame, and Barbados’ inclusion on a blacklist of tax havens might have occurred despite empirical evidence to the contrary as was the case in 1998-2000, and is the case with the ‘Stop Tax Haven Abuse’ bill introduced to congress a couple of weeks ago.

Whether Prime Minister Thompson’s proactive and timely letters to UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and US President Barack Obama (explaining Barbados’ hard-earned status as a transparent jurisdiction with tax information exchange agreements that met OECD international tax standards), delivered a few days before the conference, had anything to do with it or not, the good news is that Barbados was not only not on the “blacklist”, but was on the “A” list of countries that had substantially implemented the internationally agreed tax standard. The good guys list.

Wayne Kirton, CEO of Invest Barbados, the agency tasked with attracting Foreign Direct Investment to our shores, is not quite dancing in the streets yet, however. He says he is delighted with Barbados’ well-deserved placement on the OECD list of conforming jurisdictions, but cautions that the work of implementing the G20 actions now has to start, and there is still a bill before the US congress seeking to unfairly brand Barbados as a tax haven to be targeted for congressional action, so that Team Barbados still has some work to do in protecting our Investment Brand. “That having been said, don’t doubt that we will be telling this story to whoever will listen all across the world – Barbados is a serious, responsible, respected, transparent, treaty-based jurisdiction that conforms to international standards, and the G20 leaders and the OECD say it is so. Add to that a high quality lifestyle, stable environment, excellent communications, and, above all, a well educated and flexible workforce – as they used to say when the pioneers in this sector started marketing – Barbados works, let it work for you!”



One Response to Barbados Made ‘A’ list But Blacklisting Still Lurking In Background

  1. Pingback: Barbados Made ‘A’ list But Blacklisting Still Lurking In … | Ace Card's Caribbean Vacation

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