Caribbean leaders: Withdraw EU blacklisting

By added on 08/07/2015

Barbados and other Caribbean leaders who held a recent summit in Bridgetown want the European Union to lift the blacklisting of Caribbean offshore jurisdictions immediately, reports the Barbados Advocate.

The demand is contained in the Heads of Government Communique which was issued following the July 2-4 summit at the Hilton.

“The Heads expressed their strong objection to the recent decision by the European Union to ‘blacklist’ eight Member States and all Associate Members of CARICOM on the pretext that there was no co-operation on tax matters with the countries of the European Union,” said the Communique.

They viewed this listing as being without foundation or merit, in light of their continued efforts to comply with the onerous and unilateral regulatory measures developed by the Organisation of Economic Co-operation (OECD) which sets international standards on tax co-operation.

They further noted that CARICOM States were members of the OECD Global Forum, which requires as part of its Members’ good standing, to agree to the adoption and implementation of the OECD Multi-lateral Convention on Mutual Assistance in Tax Matters which provides for the Automatic Exchange of Information; and that the OECD had not blacklisted any of the CARICOM countries on the European Union list.

In light of the potential adverse effects of such a listing on the financial services in the region and the implications for economic growth, Heads of Government demanded that the European Union withdraw the listing immediately.

The Thirty-Sixth Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) was held at Bridgetown, Barbados, 2-4 July 2015. The Prime Minister of Barbados, the Right Honourable Freundel Stuart, Q.C; MP, chaired the proceedings.

Other Members of the Conference in attendance were: the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, the Honourable Gaston Browne; the Prime Minister of The Bahamas, the Rt. Honourable Perry Christie; the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, the Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit; the Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr. the Rt. Honourable Keith Mitchell; the President of Guyana, His Excellency Brigadier David Granger; the President of Haiti, His Excellency Michel Martelly; the Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Honourable Portia Simpson-Miller; the Premier of Montserrat, the Honourable Donaldson Romeo; the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris; the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, Dr. the Honourable Kenny D. Anthony; the Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. the Honourable Ralph Gonsalves; and the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, the Honourable Kamla Persad-Bissessar.