The Cayman Islands Government signed a number of supplementary agreements with the Nordic countries at the Norwegian Embassy in Paris today. The agreements are commercial deals to accompany the main bi-lateral agreements which were signed earlier this year. Signing on behalf of Norway was Mathias Fredici Kristensen, Norway’s Royal Ambassador, who extended his appreciation to the Cayman Islands Government. *”I would like to congratulate the Cayman Islands on the signing of these agreements with the Nordic countries. These will eliminate double taxation on individuals and on international shipping and air transport, and will establish a mutual agreement procedure in transfer pricing cases,”* the Ambassador said.
The signing marks the final stage in the process of completing negotiations with the Nordic countries.
Cayman’s Leader of Government Business the Hon. McKeeva Bush is travelling in Europe with a Government delegation. He has said that by September Cayman will have 12 tax exchange agreements in place and should be removed from the post G20 OECD grey list.
According to the French daily newspaper, *Le Figaro*, who interviewed him, Mr. Bush has said that Cayman is not afraid of regulation and transparency as it already has stricter controls than Paris and London. He reportedly confirmed that the goal now was to remove the label of “tax haven” and said that by cooperating with the OECD he hoped Cayman’s voice would be heard on the international scene on an equal footing. Mr. Bush commented that Cayman even regulates its fund industry and that the jurisdiction would respect the new rules adopted by the G20. *“Our goal is to reassure investors by becoming the Singapore of the Caribbean,”* he said.
Also reported was that the Leader of Government Business had negotiated a double taxation agreement with France which would meet the requirement set by the OECD; he did not indicate when this would be signed but did say, however, that a bilateral treaty with Ireland would be signed next week. Ireland is one of the countries with which Cayman signed a deal under the unilateral mechanism introduced last year.
Mr. Bush also spoke to the goal of signing agreements with all OECD countries, indicating that Cayman is sending a clear message to the international community that tax evaders would not be safe in the Cayman Islands. He pointed out that Cayman was one of the first jurisdictions to cooperate with the OECD when it signed a tax exchange agreement with the United States in 2001. If the jurisdiction had been dependent on tax evasion and banking secrecy, he said, it would have collapsed at that time.