In recent weeks Guernsey has concluded bilateral TIEAs with
jurisdictions including: Switzerland, one of Guernsey's finance
sector's key trading partners; Gibraltar and Bermuda, both
overseas territories with strong international finance sectors;
Hungary and Slovakia, both members of the European Union and the
World Trade Organisation; Swaziland and Lesotho, members of the
Southern African Development Community and the African Tax
The latest TIEA to be signed, with Bermuda, marked
Guernsey's 50th in total.
Monica Bhatia, Head of the Secretariat to the OECD's Global
Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information, welcomed the
news of Guernsey's 50th TIEA signing.
She said: "Guernsey has shown that a small jurisdiction
with a clear commitment to transparency and exchange of information
and strong engagement with partners can set the pace in developing
an extensive network of tax information exchange
agreements. This is a very impressive achievement."
The OECD is the supra-national body which, along with individual
jurisdictions such as Guernsey, has driven forward tax transparency
initiatives over the past decade, particularly since it launched
the so-called 'white list' of tax transparent and
cooperative jurisdictions in 2008.
Pascal Saint-Amans, the OECD's Head of Global Tax Policy,
also welcomed the Island's leadership.
"Guernsey has been one of the most active jurisdictions
promoting transparency in practice. Guernsey started negotiation of
agreements prior to 2009, paving the way for many other
jurisdictions. The number of TIEAs signed so far seriously enhances
Guernsey's reputation as a responsible and transparent
financial centre, as recognised by the Global Forum peer
review," said Mr Saint-Amans.
The praise from the OECD follows that from UK Prime Minister
David Cameron earlier this year for Guernsey's leadership on
tax transparency, as well as his statement that there are no
grounds on which to consider Guernsey a tax haven.
Gavin St Pier, Guernsey's Treasury and Resources Minister,
commented: "Guernsey's long-standing commitment to tax
transparency is a central factor in cementing Guernsey's
reputation as a sustainable, stable and good place to do business.
Our reputation and our competitiveness as an international finance
centre are inextricably linked.
"I am delighted that we have reached this milestone through
the hard work of the tax team in Guernsey. However I can assure the
international community that we will not simply be resting on our
laurels. We want to continue to be ahead of the curve in order to
maintain our reputation and our competitiveness."
Fiona Le Poidevin, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance - the
promotional agency for the Island's finance industry, said:
"The signing of Guernsey's 50th TIEA emphasises
Guernsey's continued commitment to information exchange and the
meeting of international standards. It puts us significantly ahead
of other international finance centres in this regard and
demonstrates that the Island is held in high esteem by our trading
"When combined with the knowledge that Guernsey has signed
Double Taxation Arrangements (full or partial) with 20 countries,
the signing of these agreements is welcomed by those within
industry itself. It provides clarity and certainty on matters of
taxation, which makes it more attractive to conduct business
between Guernsey and other jurisdictions."
Guernsey started negotiating TIEAs in 2001 and signed its first,
with the US, in 2002. The Island's policy since then has been
to demonstrate its commitment to transparency and exchange of tax
information by negotiating agreements with as many relevant
jurisdictions as possible including OECD, G20 and EU members, as
well as other jurisdictions where Guernsey may have a domestic tax
interest of its own in obtaining information.
Rob Gray, Guernsey's Director of Tax, added: "This is
an important milestone, but the work goes on, however, as we try to
arrange the signature of the 17 further TIEAs and DTAs, which have
already been finalised, and complete negotiations on several other
agreements we currently still have under discussion.
"With possible participation in the OECD Multilateral
Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters and
signature and putting into effect FATCA based agreements, similar
one recently signed with the UK, with the US, and possibly
significantly more countries on the horizon, there is little time
to reflect on our previous achievements."
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