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Date: 28 Nov, 2014
Source: Barbados Government Information Service

Barbados and Colombia have taken steps to improve the exchange of information on arrangements with the signing of a Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) recently.

Officials from Barbados and Colombia signed the TIEA on November 25, in Washington D.C. Ambassador John Beale signed the document on behalf of Barbados, while Colombia’s Ambassador to the United States, Luis Carlos Villeges, signed on behalf of Colombia.

During the ceremony, Ambassador Beale said the signing of the Agreement was important in the context of the current challenging global financial climate, and the movement of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development towards the automatic exchange of information.

“This TIEA sends a clear message of our joint endorsement of the international standard in respect of transparency and tax information exchange, which is codified therein,” he said.

The Ambassador continued: “I also believe that this signing highlights Barbados’ strengthening of its relationship with Colombia and by extension Latin America. If we wish to create strategic economic alliances between our countries, it is prudent to also have agreements which clearly demonstrate our commitment to international tax cooperation.”

Ambassador Villeges thanked Barbados for signing the Agreement, and added that it would further strengthen the existing bilateral relationship. He said the Agreement “establishes the possibility for the competent authorities in both states to agree in the future to exchange tax information in a spontaneous way”.

The Colombian Ambassador explained that his country’s legislation provided rules which governed in a general way, the exchange of tax information internationally. However, in order to proceed with the effective exchange of tax information with other jurisdictions, it is necessary to sign international treaties.

“With the signing of this agreement, Colombia and Barbados [would] strengthen their commitment to international fiscal transparency and the fight against tax evasion and avoidance,” Mr. Villeges affirmed.