The Commonwealth of The Bahamas and the Czech Republic entered into an Agreement on the Exchange of Information on Tax Matters during a signing ceremony at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today.

Minister of State for Finance Michael Halkitis signed for The Bahamas and Ambassador Jarsolav Zajic for The Czech Republic. Minister Halkitis said, *“The Bahamas welcomes the conclusion of this agreement with Czech Republic, a fellow participant in the ongoing efforts to implement the international standards for financial services regulation and cross-border cooperation.”*

This brings to 31 the number of TIEAs The Bahamas has signed; the second with an eastern European nation; and the 20th with an Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development-member country.

*“The Government is confident that the continued expansion if its tax cooperation network further enhances The Bahamas’ position as a reputable international business centre for the conduct of legitimate global activities,”* Mr. Halkitis added. He thanked Ambassador Zajic and the Czech negotiators for their cooperative and productive engagements with The Bahamas, and for their respective roles in enabling the execution of this agreement. *“The Bahamas looks forward to the continued expansion of the cooperative relationship between our two countries,”* Mr. Halkitis said.

The Minister further explained that the 31 TIEAs signed by The Bahamas proves the legitimate use of the country as premier, well-regulated, offshore financial jurisdiction. Ambassador Zajic deemed it a historic moment in Bahamas and Czech Republic bi-lateral relations, which were established in 2005.

*Photo: Jarsolav Zajic Ambassador of The Czech Republic and right, Minister of State for Finance Michael Halkitis. (BIS Photo/Kris Ingraham)*