New Zealand to make Cayman’s 12th tax deal

| 19/07/2009

(CNS): Although New Zealand is likely to be the twelfth and probably Cayman’s most important Tax Information Exchange Agreement, as it should see the jurisdiction removed from the infamous OECD ‘grey’ list, the Leader of Government Business, McKeeva Bush will not be heading ‘down under’ to sign on the dotted line as he said its too far to travel. He said that government is trying to arrange to meet the New Zealand leader in Washington instead as soon as possible for the official signing ceremony.  Although there have been recent concerns that 12 agreements may still not be enough to make the white list Bush said he was confident that it was.

“The Cayman Islands now has 11 such bilateral agreements in place. It is my intention to secure the 12th agreement in short order so that the Cayman Islands can be removed from the OECD Grey List. I realise there are some concerns being aired regarding the possibility of the OECD moving the goal post so to speak or that the stated number of 12 agreements may be changed.  However based on the discussions I have had with OECD officials, this is highly unlikely,” the LoGB said at a media briefing on Friday. He said there was a need to keep focused and he was confident that the OECD was recognising Cayman’s commitment to the agreements.

Noting that New Zealand was most likely to be the 12th TIEA Cayman was alas at the advanced stages of negotiation with several other countries, including Italy, Mexico, Germany, France, Australia, Portugal and Canada,

“Having agreements at the “technical level” means that we have concluded negotiations and senior representatives from both countries have signed off on the text,” Bush said. “Each country will go through the necessary steps to obtain approval at the ministerial/cabinet level after which the official signing will be arranged. The length of time it takes to sign officially will vary from country to country depending on their unique legislative and approval processes.”

He explained that based on our discussion with the various countries in most cases, the Cayman Islands will be able to sign official agreements with these countries by September at the latest when he intended to lead a delegation to the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information in Mexico.

“Our attendance at this meeting will enable the Cayman Islands to have as seat and a voice at the table during the important discussions on the status of the OECD transparency initiative generally and what type of framework may be put in place to monitor the process of implementation across countries,” the LoGB added. “It is my strong view that it is best to participate in these initiatives as it gives us not only full insight into what is being planned and discussed, but also an opportunity to provide our own direct input into a process which will inevitably affect us in the future.”

Asked how if there was any progress on the OECD’s judgement of the unilateral mechanism, legislation for which Cayman designed and passed last year which the previous administration had hoped would sway the OECD into placing Cayman on the white list, Bush said he did not hold out much hope for it.

He said that during his recent travels in Europe there was considerable cynicism and it was safer for Cayman to focus on bi-lateral treaties. “When we went to France it was almost as though there was laughter in corridors about it not much hope,” he said. “And because of the G20 meeting in September we can’t wait on an unknown process we have to get the bi-lateral treaties signed.”

Bush added that government remained committed to protecting both the commercial success of the industry and Cayman’s good reputation as a well regulated and cooperative jurisdiction.


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  1. Anonymous says:

    I am not sure whether Cayman negotiators are competence challenged or they are being told by our clueless leader that they are to make sure that Cayman gets nothing in these negotiations. Meanwhile Cayman’s competitors such as the Isle of Man sign agreements with real benefits for their businesses.

    This was signed by Isle of Man last week.

    As of this week our business is looking at moving out of Cayman, there is no confidence that those in Cayman have any clue what they are doing.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Cicero had an expression which may offer insight into the removal of a dedicated, entirely professional, highly qualified and highly skilled civil servant. That expression is "Qui bono" – who benefits. I wonder if anyone has gained financially (perhaps through untendered consulting contracts or otherwise), or in promotion to a prestigous post as a result?

  3. Consultant says:

    Why go to Washington to sign it? Sit at your desk, sign the thing, scan a copy and email it to New Zealand for same. Now there is a cost saver. I am available for consultation.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Many thanks to the hardworking public employee who helped to line up this New Zealand agreement (among others) before she was dis-gracefully removed from the negotiating team mainly because of the vindictiveness of the former Cheif Secretary and his contrioller, McKeeva. 

    • Thankful says:

      Many thanks to the hardworking public employee who helped to line up this New Zealand agreement (among others) before she was dis-gracefully removed from the negotiating team mainly because of the vindictiveness of the former Cheif Secretary and his contrioller, McKeeva

      So tell me something now…I hope you not talking about the Hon. Ms. DD?!  If so, I truly think that was a grave error and misjudgement.  Anyone and I mean anyone who is remotely within earshot of the Deputy FS when she is in her element will know without a shawdow of a doubt that you have an ACE card strong, Caymanian womanin your pack.  A lady that knows her stuff, knows that she knows and will help you to know taht she knows.  

      I have been a witness to her stealthy, passion-driven, professional hardball style of pure: intelligence, insightful, pragmatic and solutions driven "force".  She is not one of glamourand picture-taking and is very humble in her style and is likely a bit uncomfortable even someone (like me) if putting her in the lime-light…but I assure anyone reading this, I am neither a kin to, work with or is in any way benefiting from my praise of this graceful civil servant.

      So if your comment is referencing this lady, i would emplore the better judgement of the LoGB to understand that the DFS is an ACE for any negotiating team.

      I pray for God’s guidance on her life and that our country and leaders will always tap the best. 

  5. Anonymous says:

    Whatever laughter there was in Paris, according to those in the know in Europe and as noted by previous contributors, was brought about by Cayman’s self-defeating sign anything as long as it gives Cayman no benefits policy, combined with efforts of those who should have been working to advance the interests of Cayman but who instead chose to persuade the OECD to delay acceptance of the unilateral mechanism until its September 2009 Mexico meeting. All this so that the false appearance of saving the day could be presented.