Bermuda signs TIEAs with Italy and Malaysia

By added on 24/04/2012

Bermuda signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreements with Italy today, hours after signing with Malaysia this morning, bringing the Island’s total bilateral tax agreements to 34, reports the Royal Gazette.

Sixteen of the TIEAs are with G20 member countries. Bermuda’s agreement with the Italian Republic completes the quest of signing TIEAs with all G7 countries.

The agreements provide a full exchange of information on criminal and legal tax matters between the two countries.

Premier Paula Cox signed the Italy TIEA in London with Alain Economides, Ambassador of the Italian Embassy in London.

“It is a benchmark that Bermuda has reached this pivotal goal,” said Premier Cox in a statement in regards to signing TIEAs with all G7 countries.

According to the Government statement, Bermuda is the first and only small jurisdiction appointed a Vice Chair of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes.

“Our TIEA strategy therefore reflects that we have targeted meaningful TIEAs with the key countries in the global financial systems that are also Bermuda’s major trading partners,” said Premier Cox.

George Hutchings, chairman of the Association of Bermuda International Companies (ABIC) said of the signing: “The signing of the TIEA with Italy is further good news for the Bermuda international business sector as Italy has always been a major participant in our domicile with many Italian companies having ownership in Bermuda exempt companies and also as buyers of insurance protections. The Ministry is to be congratulated on maintaining the momentum in the signing of TIEAs with our current and prospective business partners.”

While in London, Premier Cox also signed a TIEA with Malaysia alongside the High Commissioner of Malaysia to the United Kingdom, Dato’ Sri Zakaria Sulong.

“Our analysis tells us that Malaysia is the world’s most developed and largest centre for Sharia compliant financial services,” said Premier Cox. “Bermuda and Malaysia have much in common. Both are countries exposed to natural phenomena that cause us to be ever mindful of a higher power and both countries are heavily involved in the global economy as leading international financial centres.”

Sharia is Islamic religious law that governs not only religious rituals, but also aspects of day-to-day life in Islam. Sharia-compliant investment vehicles neither pay interest, nor benefit from gambling and are similar to socially responsible investments.