Minister of International Business and International Transport, George Hutson, and China’s Ambassador to Barbados,??Wei Qiang,??initialling??the document. At far right is Third Secretarty in the Chinese Embassy, Rongxi Wu. (Image: BGIS/C. Pitt)

Relations between Barbados and the People’s Republic of China are expected to be enhanced, and new business opportunities created, with the signing of a Protocol to the?? existing?? Double Taxation Agreement?? (DTA) between?? the two countries.

Minister of International Business and International Transport, George Hutson, and China’s Ambassador to Barbados,?? Wei Qiang, today initialled?? the document, which??amends the??existing 10-year old Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income?? in the Main Conference Room, Warrens Office Complex.

In his address at the signing, Minister Hutson, expressed appreciation at the agreements reached between the two countries, which incorporate changes to China’s domestic law, while improving the treaty-based mechanism for tax information exchange.

"I am aware that there has been much speculation about this protocol as to what the changes, as agreed, may mean for eligible taxpayers in our two countries. However, I am satisfied that taxpayers will find that our treaty – with the additions contained in this Protocol-remains clear, certain and full of opportunity for the avoidance of double taxation with respect to income on capital.

"Importantly, the Protocol makes abundantly clear our commitment to internationally accepted principles of transparency and tax information exchange, to which we have agreed. I am, therefore, pleased that in this regard, we are able to bring the language of this treaty into conformity with what obtains in our tax treaty network," Mr. Hutson underlined.

In addressing the ceremony, Ambassador Wei underscored his Government’s determination to enhance China-Barbados business ties in an effort to further expand the economic foundation of the countries’ excellent bi-lateral relations.?? The Protocol, the envoy opined, would "serve the purpose of deepening our mutually-beneficial cooperation in all the relevant areas."

Noting that since the signing of the Agreement?? on May 15, 2000, many changes?? and new situations obtained in both countries, as well as the wider international community, Ambassador Wei?? said circumstances dictated?? that amendments be made to some aspects of the agreement.

"So we wanted to take into account the new circumstance we’ve come to face and to have the agreement fully meet its objectives. Now, with today’s signing ceremony, and thus the conclusion of this protocol to the agreement, I think we can safely say that new horizons have been opened for our entrepreneurs in both countries to explore and exploit their business opportunities in a sound and confident manner for the benefit of both sides," the envoy concluded.

In commenting on the Protocol, Director of International Business Francoise Hendy, said it reflected a new circumstance and more importantly the ongoing relationship between Barbados and China.

"…When you have a treaty that is 10 years old and you can sit down and renegotiate key aspects of it, and come up with?? a new protocol that is still full of benefit and full of opportunity; it?? reflects not only on our relationship with China, but our relationship with?? other treaty partners," she surmised.

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