The Isle of Man has been successful in striking the first tax deal to be made between Ireland and another international finance centre.

The move comprises two agreements providing for cooperation on key issues affecting international business and is likely to strengthen economic ties. The official ceremony, attended by Treasury Minister, Allan Bell, and Irish Taoiseach Elect, Brian Cowen, was held in Dublin.

The agreements comprise:

A tax information exchange agreement – known as a 'TIEA' – based on the OECD's model of request on a case-by-case basis: and

An agreement providing for relief from double taxation with respect to certain income of individuals and establishing a mutual procedure covering the adjustments of profits in relation to associated enterprises.

Mr Bell said: 'Ireland is one of our closest neighbours and it is essential that we work together in a spirit of friendly cooperation to further the interests of both countries.

'The Isle of Man understands its obligations as a financial centre that is part of the global economic community. These agreements draw to a close a period in which the Irish government had concerns that its citizens and businesses might abuse Isle of Man financial services to evade taxes at home.

'This normalising of relations will provide a platform for significantly strengthening our business and economic ties with Ireland. The specialist services in the Isle of Man can complement those in Ireland,' Mr Bell pointed out. 'And I now look forward to seeing many new opportunities for business between our countries.'

'The Isle of Man is meeting international benchmark standards,' added Mr Bell, 'and fulfilling our obligations as a small but significant player in the global economic community. These standards are becoming increasingly vital, and I hope they are adhered to by all countries wishing to attract top-class business and investment to their shores.'

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