Jamaica won’t be a tax haven says Shaw

| 02/07/2009

(CNS): According to a release from Jamaica’s Information Services the country’s Minister of Finance, Audley Shaw, has told Parliament that Jamaica will not earn the reputation of a tax haven, when the proposed International Financial Centre (IFC) is established in downtown Kingston. Addressing the House of Representatives on Tuesday 30 June Shaw argued that a tax haven is a jurisdiction that does not have competitive tax base, and refuses to provide information to foreign tax authorities.


"Contrary to the concept of a tax haven, the IFC has been conceptualised to operate in a profoundly different manner, owing to its fundamentally different nature and character,” he said. “That is, the centre will serve as an outlet facilitating offshore offices and services, in addition to the outsourcing of different aspects of financial services." The Finance Minister pointed out that with many Caribbean neighbours taking advantage of these lucrative opportunities, it is essential that Jamaica focuses on specific market niches and harness its competitive advantage.

"These include the large cadre of professionals in the fields of accounting, law, banking and finance; the high-ranking quality of transportation infrastructure especially our airports, our seaports, and our excellent telecommunication capabilities; a stable democracy; proximity to the world’s largest market, (and) availability of training facilities for professionals in the financial industry," Shaw added.

JIS stated that some $100 million have been earmarked in the Jamaican budget to establish the IFC. Cabinet, last month, approved establishment of a statutory company to oversee the development of the IFC. The next step is the drafting of appropriate legislation, including amendments to the Urban Renewal Act, and the refinement of the list of products and services that are to be offered.


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