By GIS Barbados
PORTUGAL / BARBADOS – Wednesday at the 16th plenary meeting of the OECD Global Forum, underway in Lisbon, Portugal, minister of energy and business, senator Lisa Cummins, addressed the high-level opening session alongside counterparts from Thailand, Algeria and Portugal, and the deputy secretary general of the OECD, to share Barbados’ perspective as a small economy implementing standards for transparency.
In her comments, senator Cummins highlighted the work being undertaken by the international business unit of the ministry in the area of exchange of information on tax matters, both automatically, and on request, in collaboration with the Barbados Revenue Authority.
Minister Cummins also used the opportunity to reiterate Barbados’ commitment to multilateralism on exchange of information and to the development and implementation of global standards on tax compliance for the global business sector.
“We are working collaboratively in a transparent way in the Global Forum and are being reviewed regularly to ensure compliance. Yet, despite the progress being made by jurisdictions like Barbados with respect to cooperation and compliance in relation to tax transparency and exchange of information standards, I continue to be dismayed by the creation of unilateral negative lists by some members of the Global Forum, without regard to implications on small countries,” Cummins observed.
“These listings, developed and published despite all the work we have done, are deeply problematic. They undermine the principles of multilateralism, increase risk profiles, affect the ability to retain or attract new investments and have the potential to jeopardise investors’ ease of access to funding.
“This not only undermines the progress made by jurisdictions but also, to some extent, deprecates the value that the Global Forum has brought to matters of international tax cooperation, including the principles of fairness, transparency, and technical assistance to those who need it. There was a time when the relationship between the OECD and countries like Barbados was strained but we have come past that point significantly since the Global Forum was formed. Unilateral measures take us backwards.”
Minister Cummins went on to comment that having “a level playing field is a hallmark of the Forum’s work” and lauded the Global Forum while calling on the OECD body to, “consider the role that it could play in addressing the concerns raised by countries like Barbados”.
The 16th Global Forum Plenary ends on Friday, December 1, 2023.
The full statement from Minister of Energy and Business, Senator Lisa Cummins, on implementing transparency and EOI standards at the 16th Global Forum Plenary in Lisbon, Portugal.