LONDON, England -- In a special edition of BBC’s HARDtalk, Stephen Sackur spoke to Cayman Islands Premier Alden McLaughlin to reflect on Cayman’s past, present and future.
A tax rate of zero has turned the Cayman Islands into one of the most scrutinised offshore financial domiciles in the world and McLaughlin told Sackur that Cayman has been actively engaged, and has complied with every international regulatory initiative in the last two decades. Cayman deserves an image as a solid and transparent domicile.
Cayman Islands Premier Alden McLaughlin
“In many respects we are actually ahead of the UK, certainly in terms of beneficial ownership,” said McLaughlin.
He also noted Cayman’s 33 tax information exchange agreements (TIEAs) and its partnership with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) Multilateral Convention on Mutual Assistance in Tax Matters.
McLaughlin went on to explain to the BBC that international regulators, onshore authorities and the OECD had found Cayman has one of the best and most robust regulatory regimes in the world.
"As the premier of the Cayman Islands, I have no difficulty, and my government has absolutely no difficulty, in complying with what are international standards,” he stated.
Throughout the 25-minute interview Sackur labeled Cayman as one of the strangest and most unbalanced micro-economies in the world and when challenged by Sackur over Cayman’s reputation as a tax haven, the premier explained that the territory "is an open, transparent jurisdiction.”
The Insurance Managers Association of Cayman (IMAC) launched a new brand in 2013 to promote the integrity and transparency of Cayman in international markets with the tagline “Cayman Islands. Clearly Better Business.” McLaughlin reiterated the message behind the IMAC brand as establishing the Cayman Islands as an appropriate, business-conducive environment with a well-established infrastructure including world-class service providers and a transparent and open approach to business.