Thursday, April 16, 2009

BVI Listing in OECD Report: Statement of BVI Premier Ralph O'Neal

The report published by OECD after the G-20 summit, which classified financial centres by their progress towards the “internationally agreed tax standard”, gave rise to the sharp reaction of some countries, which were included on the “grey list” - among them Switzerland, Luxembourg and Belgium.For BVI, which was expected to pass through the international inspection, it also became somehow disappointing to get into the grey category.

This was told by BVI Premier Ralph O'Neal in the press release issued on the G20 Summit and an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Progress Report. By his words, the BVI is disappointed that the format of the listings does not recognise its long standing commitment and implementation of international standards.

Yet, the Premier said that the business in BVI will be as usual, regardless of the ranking, and said the territory would provide continuing support in promoting transparency. Ralph O'Neal said, "We are aware that the G-20 Leaders intend to develop further proposals on financial regulation and we will also be monitoring these closely ... As a co-operative member of the global community, the BVI will continue to adopt international regulatory standards of best practice as they emerge."

BVI are planning to continue negotiations with OECD countries for conclusion of Tax Information Exchange Agreements. Currently, there are three TIEAs signed by the territory with the US, the UK, and Australia. In his statement, the Premier announced that the number of TIEAs will come to ten on May 18, when it signs seven agreements with “the Nordic countries.”

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