The Cayman Islands signed its eleventh tax information exchange agreement (TIEA) in a ceremony held at the Netherlands’ Ministry of Finance in The Hague. The agreement is based on the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) standard for bilateral exchange of information on tax matters. It reportedly is seen by the jurisdiction’s Government as another step in removing the Cayman Islands from the post G20 OECD ‘grey list’ with the eventual signing of twelve TIEAs.
Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush signed on behalf of Cayman, noting that the latest TIEA affirmed the Cayman Islands’ commitment to openness and transparency and characterises the way that business operates in the two jurisdictions. He said, *“The Cayman Islands, as far back as 2000, gave an unequivocal commitment to the OECD to co-operate on the issue of the exchange of tax information. This signing today is a further illustration on our part to honour that commitment. It also demonstrates our willingness to partner with other countries to discourage those who are so minded to, from seeking to evade their obligation to pay their taxes to their respective jurisdictions.”*
He added that the Cayman Islands have repeatedly reassured the rest of the world that it provides no safe harbour to those who are involved in any unlawful activities, be it tax evasion, money laundering or any form of trans-national criminal activity. *“We pride ourselves as a major international financial service centre that guarantees high standards of services underpinned by internationally recognised and accepted levels of regulation. We therefore welcome the kind gesture of the government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to host this signing ceremony. We are grateful to all those who have worked very hard to facilitate this occasion, and we look forward to our two countries working together to ensure the effective implementation of this agreement.”*
Jan Kees de Jager, State Secretary for Finance, signed the TIEA on behalf of the Netherlands.