TIES between the Isle of Man and the Republic of Slovenia were strengthened last week following a two-day visit of Slovenian ambassador to Britain Iztok Jarc to the island.
In Mr Jarc’s first visit to the Manx shores, he signed two tax agreements as well as attended a number of meetings to learn more about the island’s economy, politics and culture.
Last week, both Mr Jarc and Treasury Minister Anne Craine MHK signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) and an agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation with respect to Individuals.
It was the island’s 24th TIEA – and 28th agreement that meets the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) international standard on tax co-operation and transparency.
Mrs Craine said: ‘I understand that the TIEA we signed today is Slovenia’s first and I am delighted that we are able to welcome the ambassador to the Isle of Man for such a significant event.
‘Tax transparency and effective exchange of information are topics the Isle of Man takes very seriously, as the recent report by the OECD’s Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes shows.
‘Continuing to expand its network of tax agreements, particularly with its neighbours in the European Union, remains important to the island.’
She said signing the agreements was a personal moment for her – as she enjoyed her honeymoon in the central European country 33 years ago.
Mr Jarc said: ‘The agreement should increase the level of co-operation and the competitiveness of our economies.’
During his visit Mr Jarc met Economic Development Minister Allan Bell MHK, and learned about the island’s space industry, aircraft and shipping registries, financial services and the Chamber of Commerce.
He had dinner with a number of guests at Government House, attended the House of Keys, and enjoyed some sight-seeing.
He said that Slovenia, which joined the OECD in 2010, had the most successful economy out of the newcomers to the EU in 2004.
Services are the largest sector of the economy, accounting for 64 per cent of total GDP in 2008.
Tourism is an increasingly important service sector.
Manufacturing accounts for about 26 per cent of total GDP. The most important sectors of manufacturing industry include steel and metals, the car industry, white goods, wood and textiles, pharmaceuticals and chemicals and machinery.
He said the island was well-known in Slovenia due to the TT and cycling star Mark Cavendish.
The text of the tax agreements can be viewed online: http://www.gov.im/treasury/incometax/sections/practitioners/internationalagreements.xml