By Julia Rawlins-Bentham
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (BGIS) — Barbados has satisfied the requirements of phase 1 of the peer review process of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Global Forum on transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes.
The first phase of the two-phase process assessed Barbados’ legislative and regulatory framework. That means the country will now undergo Phase 2 of the peer review during the first half of next year.
This was confirmed by Minister of International Business and International Transport, George Hutson, who stated that the supplementary report on Barbados was endorsed during the ninth meeting of the Global Forum Peer Review Group in Brazil between February 27 and March 2 this year.
The group considered that Barbados has acted on recommendations and its compliance with the international standards has progressed significantly.
This has come as a result of work by Barbados in expanding its network of double taxation agreements (DTAs) and tax information exchange agreements (TIEAs) with relevant partners.
Now Barbados will move onto Phase 2, which will assess whether the framework allows for the effective exchange of information in practice.
Hutson also confirmed that Barbados has held preliminary discussions with Brazil and Colombia with a view to negotiating DTAs in the near future.
The Global Forum reviews are a first step in the three-year process approved in February 2010 in response to the G20 leaders’ call for improved tax transparency and exchange of information at their Pittsburgh Summit in September 2009.
The ministry has also given the undertaking that it will continue to work closely with its stakeholders in the industry to address the challenges faced by Barbados as an international business and financial services centre, to ensure that the country’s reputation as a jurisdiction of choice for international investors is maintained.