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Tax havens specialists for providing vital global pipelines for FDI

Neil Mohindra, Toronto based public policy analyst and former senior manager of the Financial Services Commission of Mauritius, has written for the Financial Post to argue the case for the offshore world.

As Mohindra explains, understanding what such jurisdictions actually do requires an understanding of double-taxation-avoidance agreements. DTAAs are tax treaties that allow businesses to operate in the two signatory countries without the same profits being taxed by both. Since bilateral tax treaties between every country in the world would be impractical, some small jurisdictions have specialised in negotiating networks of DTAA agreements that they then market to other countries.

Most importantly, many of these jurisdictions strive to meet international standards for co-operation between tax authorities. The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, an OECD Forum addressing the risks to tax compliance posed by non-co-operative jurisdictions, ranks many of the countries accused of being tax havens as "largely compliant". This is the second-highest ranking possible, the same as for Germany, the US, Italy and the UK.

Panama Papers offer an opportunity for the offshore world to differentiate
Following the released Panama Papers, offshore centres must be more proactive in presenting their case to the public, Legal Week has confirmed.

Following discussions on the Panama Papers at their annual Offshore Investment Forum,
Ross Webber, Chief Executive of the Bermuda Development Agency, said the Panama Papers controversy presents Bermuda with: "An opportunity to differentiate ourselves from those jurisdictions that can't claim our longstanding, blue-chip record of transparency and compliance; an opportunity to explain the basic economics of globalisation; and an opportunity to clarify that our regulatory and business ecosystem is pragmatic and appropriate."

He was also keen to point out that several of his "jurisdictional cousins" might apply the same approach.

Promoting tax certainty on the agenda of the next G20 presidency
Martin Kreienbaum, the German Federal Ministry of Finance's Director General of International Taxation, has confirmed that the issue of tax certainty will be addressed by the G20 when Germany takes up its presidency in 2017.

Speaking at a Washington DC conference sponsored by the OECD, USCIB, and BIAC, Kreienbaum said that there is a need to raise awareness about the adverse impact on foreign investment when countries lack clear tax rules or effective tax dispute resolution.

He added that the next G20 presidency will also continue the G20's current international tax work, promoting the implementation of OECD/G20 base erosion profit shifting plan output, greater tax transparency, and exchange of information, as well as addressing the issue of tax and development.

China to host anti-corruption conference for OECD
As reported by the South China Morning Post, China says it will host a roundtable conference on anti-corruption efforts with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development  (OECD)  later this year, and push for collaboration on the issue at the upcoming G20 summit.

The pledge was made on Wednesday in a list of agreements between China and the United States after their annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue wrapped up in Beijing.

The agreements listed by the two nations included joint efforts to push for an anti-graft action plan at the G20 summit to be held in September in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, and to set up a related study centre.

Cayman Finance signs Memorandum of Understanding with government to enhance ties
Cayman Finance has signed a new Memorandum of Understanding with the Cayman Islands Government "to enhance the already close working relationship that Cayman's financial services industry has with government".

The Memorandum includes an update for members on the recent Anti-Corruption Summit in London.

"Our signing of the new MoU with Cayman Finance is significant because it marks the importance we all place on the private and public sectors working together to enhance, support and protect the industry," said Minister for Financial Services Wayne Panton. "It speaks volumes about the unity with which we approach the issues facing our industry today."

Cayman Minister of Finance speaks out on effective global collaboration by law enforcement and tax authorities
As reported by Cayman Finance, statements addressing action to be taken to improve financial transparency have been made by the Cayman Minister for Financial Services, Minister Paton, and the CEO of Cayman Finance, Jude Scott.

"With our decades of engagement with international initiatives, and our current programme for further enhancements, Cayman clearly is collaborating and cooperating with all countries that adhere to global standards for the sharing of information," Minister Panton stated.

Scott sets out the positive role played by IFCs such as Cayman: "The Cayman Islands is a global financial hub that efficiently connects law abiding users and providers of capital and financing around the world ' benefitting both developed and developing countries. The Cayman Islands benefits on-shore jurisdictions by enabling them to be competitive in international trade and in facilitating effective inward investment to help grow those economies."