Minister of International Business, Donville Inniss is optimistic that given Barbados??? and Italy???s continued efforts at strengthening bilateral relations, Barbados could soon be removed from Italy???s blacklist.

He made this disclosure this morning during his brief remarks at the end of a signing of a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) between this country and the Republic of Italy at the Ministry of International Business, Baobab Tower, Warrens, St. Michael.

Addressing an audience that included Italy???s Ambassador to Barbados, Paolo Serpi; the Honorary Consul for Italy in Barbados, Ms. Paola Baldi-Gill; Director of International Business, Kaeron Venner and other technocrats, Mr. Inniss pointed out that after reviewing its rationale and policy, Barbados should be removed from Italy???s blacklist so that the two countries could fully celebrate the signing of the Agreement and move forward together without any encumbrances.

???I think you will agree that our persistence which has led to this important moment demonstrates a shared commitment between us to create the environment, through a DTA, that would encourage greater economic and commercial relations,??? he reasoned.

The Minister also assured those gathered that the Government of Barbados would be working in conjunction with Italy to ensure that the DTA comes into force in a timely manner, so that the exchange of tax information as well as trade and investment could be facilitated between the two countries.

He further maintained that while we should celebrate this important milestone, it was imperative that we did not lose sight of the fact that there was still much more that could be achieved together. The Business Minister explained that the signing symbolised the continuous efforts of both Governments to promote closer economic, social and cultural ties since the first step was made with the initialing of the Agreement on March 27, 2009.

???I am also pleased to announce that Barbados has notified the Global Forum of its commitment to implement the new global standard of automatic exchange of information as an early adopter, beginning exchange of information in 2017. Barbados has also signed an Inter-governmental Agreement to implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) with the U.S.A. In effect, Barbados is at the forefront with regard to transparency and current matters related to international tax cooperation,??? noted the Minister.

Ambassador, Paolo Serpi noted that Barbados??? removal from the blacklist was important on both sides and stressed that his country was committed to working more closely with Barbados in the International Business arena.??He added that he was ???fully behind opening another door for cooperation,??? in an effort to form closer ties.??

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