DAVOS, Switzerland — Prior to the commencement of the World Economic Forum at Davos on Wednesday, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne held a bilateral meeting with the finance minister of Malta Edward Scicluna. The main items on the agenda for discussion were the various initiatives being taken by the European Union that could have a harmful impact on countries that operate citizenship by investment programmes (CIP).
Malta, a member of the EU, has the most successful CIP programme in Europe. Both men focused on an analysis of EU policies that were deemed to be potentially harmful to CIP jurisdictions and agreed to a certain measure of collaboration intended to mitigate the risks posed by EU policies.
Scicluna, who sits on the powerful body of EU finance ministers called ECOFIN, recalled the EU tax initiative commenced in 1998 labeled ‘harmful tax competition’ which had adverse effects on the offshore jurisdictions of many Caribbean countries. He explained that since then the EU had continued to focus on international tax matters in an attempt to stem the leakage of tax revenues from various EU member states to offshore jurisdictions.
In more recent times the EU has turned its attention to the potential deleterious effects of various CIP on banking regulation including the common reporting standards or CRS. PM Browne called for further exchange of information and close cooperation between Malta and Antigua and Barbuda on this important issue.
Both Browne and Scicluna will participate on Thursday in a panel discussion on CIP and cryptocurrencies at the World Economic Forum.