Premier travels to US and Europe for talks

Sunday, January 13, 2019

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GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands (CMC) – Premier Alden McLaughlin left the territory on Wednesday to attend meetings in London, Brussels, Paris, Berlin and New York to continue discussions about recently approved economic substance legislation and the country's efforts to meet international standards for the financial services industry.

Along with other government officials, McLaughlin will address issues related to global developments in the finance industry and British Overseas Territories' continued efforts to avoid tax blacklisting with the European Union (EU).

The delegation will also outline the steps taken to meet EU requirements, reaffirm commitment to international standards and address any concerns of global partners.

In December, lawmakers approved the International Tax Co-operation (Economic Substance) Bill and two other pieces of legislation to reform its tax system.

A year earlier, the EU had provisionally excluded Cayman from its blacklist of countries considered uncooperative in tax matters under the condition that Cayman's government would commit to instituting the required changes by the end of 2018.

The EU specifically criticised the territory for a lack of substance requirements in its legislation that could enable companies that have little or no economic activity to attract substantial profits generated elsewhere.

The EU also urged the country to treat domestic companies and exempted companies, which typically only operate outside the islands, legally in the same way.

According to a press release from the premier's office, it is expected that the EU will next month announce whether the legislative changes are sufficient to keep the Cayman Islands off the blacklist and avoid potential punitive measures.

In New York, the premier has been invited to speak at the Cayman Finance Breakfast Seminar where he and the delegation will continue to promote the Cayman Islands as a reliable and stable jurisdiction in which to do business.

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