Deputy Prime Minister, Mia Mottley (at right) with Hans Horbach, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Barbados (at left).

Barbados today signed a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) with the Kingdom of the Netherlands and there are plans to initial others, including one with Mexico, in the future.

This disclosure has come from Deputy Prime Minister, Mia Mottley, who said that as much as 55 per cent of the corporate tax take here was attributed to the international business sector.

“It is an environment where there can be significant changes at short notice, not as a result of domestic action, but, indeed, as a result of global developments or the actions of other parliaments in other jurisdictions. It is in that context, therefore, that we feel that our security lies in having a multiplicity of such agreements…,” Ms. Mottley explained.

She made the comments shortly before she and Hans Horbach, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Barbados, signed a convention for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income and capital gains.

She added that the DTA was a mechanism that could enhance cross border investment between the countries. “The ability of the Netherlands to recognise the importance of having a tax framework that allows for low taxation on dividends and on withholding taxes is absolutely key towards enhancing the competitiveness of companies in today’s modern world, where cross border investment and global trade drive the global economy. To that extent, the ability of countries to put systems in place from which companies can benefit is absolutely key if we are going to enhance ultimately the quality of life of our citizens, because it is companies that trade not governments,” the Deputy Prime Minister stated.

Mr. Horbach reiterated the DTA’s importance to both countries, stressing that it would further enhance the climate for promoting commerce and investment. “It is important that you create a level playing field for enterprises and companies from both of our countries. I think if you read through the treaty …the key words which you will find are equality and reciprocity and that is something that can make our economies thrive.

“Very often it is mentioned as a treaty referring to the avoidance of double taxation, but I think it is twofold; that is one aspect of the treaty. But I think another important aspect of the treaty is also to counter fiscal fraud, fiscal  evasion and that is an interest we share in having this agreement, so as to avoid these things,” Ambassador Horbach stated.

This is the second agreement signed with an Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member country in the post 2001 OECD Harmful Taxation initiative which vindicates Barbados’ international business and financial services regime. Earlier this year, a similar one was signed with the Republic of Austria and it provides access to the expanding markets of Europe through the extensive Dutch treaty network.

Barbados’ network of DTAs includes agreements with the US (including the 2004 Protocol), the United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Switerzland, Malta, Botswana, CARICOM, Venezuela, Cuba, China and Canada.

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