Minister for Financial Services, the Hon. Tara Rivers, will be in Brussels for the week of 20 May, during which she will have meetings with EU officials, and speak on two panels that include OECD and EU participants. This will be Minister Rivers' third trip to Brussels since taking up office in June 2017.
Minister Rivers will meet with the Code of Conduct Group of the European Council; DG TAXUD of the European Commission; and Members of the European Parliament (MEP). Minister Rivers said her visits, and previous Government engagement, demonstrate Cayman's ongoing commitment of working with the EU as part of the EU's process of identifying jurisdictions that it deems uncooperative with EU Member States on tax matters.
'Cayman was deemed to be a Cooperative Jurisdiction and was not on the EU's list that was published on 5 December 2017', she said. 'Continuing the dialogue, at the policy and political levels, is important in our efforts to ensure that our cooperation with EU Member States is recognised'.
Besides her meetings, Minister Rivers will participate with the OECD and a MEP in a panel discussion, titled Towards Fairer Corporate Taxation: Is Europe Getting the Policy Mix Right? The panel is organised by the Centre for European Policy Studies, a leading think tank and forum for debate on EU affairs.
She then will join EU Commissioner Pierre Moscovici and other participants for a European Business Summit (EBS) panel, titled EU Tax Policy: Which Impact on EU's Attractiveness and Competitiveness? Minister Rivers also will attend UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond's EBS closing speech. The EBS is anticipated to attract several thousand participants from the business and political community, with several hundred attendees anticipated at the tax policy panel. This will be the first time that Cayman has participated in such an event in the heart of Europe.
'Speaking on the CEPS and EBS panels next week will provide a great opportunity to tell Cayman's story in a way that many Europeans may not know,' Minister Rivers said. 'It allows us to engage directly with the EU thought leaders who help to shape and inform EU policy'.
Minister Rivers noted that the Cayman Islands Government is unified in its approach to addressing matters developing in both the UK and the EU. Although Minister Rivers is not currently in the UK as part of the 60th Anniversary of the Coat of Arms celebrations, she is in dialogue with the Premier, the Hon. Alden McLaughlin, regarding Cayman's positions and the outcomes of meetings held. Minister Rivers is anticipated to be in London next month to continue the engagement efforts there.
In addition to the ongoing international engagements, Minister Rivers has met with local members of the financial services industry in relation to the efforts undertaken by the Government to date and the way forward with respect to the House of Commons' amendment regarding public beneficial ownership registers, as well as the EU listing process.
'Government believes our best response is based on a jurisdictional perspective', she said. 'Government and the Ministry have worked hard, and will continue to work hard, to keep industry informed and engaged in these matters; and I very much appreciate the support given by industry during our meetings and discussions held, and the cooperative working approach adopted'.
Minister Rivers will be accompanied in Brussels by the Department of Financial Services' Director Michelle Bahadur, and Policy Officer Shanna Best.
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