The Barbados International Business Association (BIBA) recently hosted its monthly luncheon lecture with its feature address being delivered by the Honourable Christopher Sinckler MP, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs. The Minister presented on the topic of “The Barbados International Business Sector: Recent Events, Government Policy & Initiatives”. Below is an extract from his speech in which the recent challenges to Barbados’s status as a credible international financial centre by the OECD are addressed.
The amplified noises being made by the OECD regarding Harmful Tax Competition and its request to restructure the Global Forum on transparency and exchange of information, coupled with the G20 countries’ concerns that offshore financial centers might have contributed to the recent financial crisis and instability in financial markets, remains a daunting challenge for small international financial centres like ours.
My most honest response to this latest fiasco in the OECD, led predominantly by the French and the Germans but implicitly sanctioned by others in the G20, (some of whom are among our longest standing partners), together with less talked about but no less intrusive tax jurisdiction examination processes of the Financial Stability Board, is that they are a part of a campaign to shut Barbados’ off-shore tax centre down.