Barbados International Business Sector Optimistic of Positive Response from EU to Blacklisting Concerns

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Thursday December 14, 2017 – Following concerns raised by Barbados about its recent blacklisting, the European Union (EU) is due to issue a formal response to the island tomorrow.

And President of the Barbados International Business Association (BIBA) Marlon Waldron, is expressing strong optimism of “a positive outcome” for the island, which now faces the threat of sanctions following its identification by the EU last week as one of 17 global tax havens. It was among four Caribbean countries on the list, the others being St Lucia, Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago.

In giving the rationale for its action, the EU said “Barbados has a harmful preferential tax regime and did not clearly commit to amending or abolishing it as requested by 31 December 2018”.

The development was strongly condemned by Minister of International Business Donville Inniss, who maintained that the island has been fully cooperative, and therefore its blacklisting is both “unfortunate and unfair”.

While acknowledging that some of its members had expressed “serious apprehension about the implications this could have for their businesses and for Barbados”, Waldron revealed that BIBA, through its tax committee, has been involved in the process of fashioning Government’s response, particularly to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development.

He also said he was in constant communication with Inniss, as well as Director of International Business Division Kevin Hunte, “and have been assured that the ministry is engaged in vigorous discussions with the EU on this matter, and that the EU would be issuing its response by Friday”.

“To this end, we are very optimistic that this interaction will result in a positive outcome for Barbados,” the BIBA president said, while warning of the possible danger to the jurisdiction’s reputation.

Though aware that offshore financial centres are always under scrutiny by G20 countries and related international organizations, Waldron said it “imperative that our Government remains engaged with these international bodies to mitigate what is potentially harmful to us all”. (Adapted from Barbados Today)

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