Minister of International Business and International Trade, George Hutson, addressing the audience at the panel discussion.
(A. Miller/BGIS)

Government has put a number of measures in place to improve its standing in the international business community, and to facilitate the growth of the sector here.

Word of this came today from Minister of International Business and International Trade, George Hutson, while speaking at a lecture and panel discussion entitled Regional Tax Treaties and Tax Information Exchange Agreements and OECD Standards, at the Law Faculty of the University of the West Indies (UWI).

According to him, the new measures should see a substantial improvement from last year’s low rating by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, which analyses the legislative environment for transparency and exchange of tax information in several jurisdictions and examines how their systems operate in practice.

The Minister explained that one criticism by the Forum was that Barbados had not signed any Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEA) with other countries.??
"Since then, we have signed TIEAs with Denmark and its administrative dependents… and we are in the process of negotiating a TIEA with Germany, which had objected to us progressing beyond phase one," he revealed, adding that this country was also in discussions with South Africa and France to create similar arrangements.

Mr. Hutson further disclosed that Government had also reviewed existing agreements with the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Sweden to ensure conformity with international tax standards.??

He added that the CARICOM Multilateral Convention on Double Taxation was also being amended to ensure its tax information clauses were in compliance with international best practices. "This multilateral convention covers 11 countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago," the Minister said.

The lecture/panel discussion was hosted by the UWI’s Faculty of Law in collaboration with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados.??


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