Barbados has already signalled to the United States, its intention to conclude a reciprocal Inter-Governmental Agreement to apply its Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).

This disclosure came today from Prime Minister Freundel Stuart as he delivered the feature address at the International Business Week Conference at Hilton Barbados.

Mr. Stuart said Government was aware that an atmosphere of certainty was needed for domestic and international operators in our banking sector and other entities which met the criteria of foreign financial institutions under FATCA, to thrive.

???I look forward, therefore, to being able in the coming weeks to announce formally that the US is favourably disposed to negotiating a reciprocal Model 1 Inter-Governmental Agreement with us; and from our end we will be working towards concluding agreement by year-end,??? he further disclosed.

The Prime Minister pointed out that FATCA requires the automatic exchange of US taxpayers banking information, placing it in the same policy space as exchanges under the OECD Multilateral Convention.

???It would, therefore, be inconsistent with and contrary to our own national interest to indicate a willingness to automatically exchange information with the US and not with the parties to the OECD Convention. It would seem self-defeating deliberately to attract ???body blows??? to our business brand at this time, when we know that little can be gained by dallying on this matter.

???Greater gain can surely be had by moving quickly onto the substantial matters like implementation timeframes and questions about who will bear the costs of the automatic exchanges, regardless of the legal instrument used. It is often the case that it is not what you do but how and when you do it,??? Mr. Stuart stated.

The Prime Minister noted that political disquiet in the United States had caused the deadline for FATCA implementation to be pushed back again.

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