THE Isle of Man is beginning to get its message across to senior politicians, decision makers and opinion formers that we are part of the solution not part of the problem.
Chief Minister Allan Bell and Treasury Minister Eddie Teare MHK attended a series of high-level meetings in London last week - and say the island earned praise for leading the way on international tax compliance.
They said positive discussions took place around progress towards signing an automatic tax information exchange agreement with the UK based on a similar FATCA agreement with the US.
There were also discussions on the Vicker’s banking reforms and the need to recognise the important role that offshore financial centres play in being a conduit of billions of pounds of funding to the City of London through the upstreaming of deposits drawn in from around the world.
Mr Bell said: ‘There is growing recognition of the Isle of Man’s commitment to remaining at the forefront of international developments in tax compliance. We are increasingly being seen as part of the solution rather than part of the problem.
‘Our leadership on tax issues and willingness to work with the international community is blowing away the old myths and misconceptions about the Isle of Man. The message is loud and clear; we are a well-regulated international business centre with a diverse and growing economy.’
He added: ‘The proposed FATCA agreements with the UK and USA will provide confidence to investors in the Isle of Man that they are dealing with a regime that complies to international standards of best practice. This will strengthen efforts to develop our economy and create new investment and employment opportunities.’
The visit to London continued the Manx government’s programme of engagement with key figures in Westminster and the City, along with MPs from the North West where the island is continuing to develop its business links.
Mr Bell and Mr Teare, who were accompanied by chief secretary Will Greenhow and director of external relations Della Fletcher also spoke about the Isle of Man’s renewed focus on international development and its continued support for capacity building projects such as the Small Countries Financial Management Programme.
In his Budget speech last month, Mr Teare said that negotiations with both the US and UK were substantially complete and he expected a FATCA agreement with the States and a similar deal with the UK to be signed in the near future.
FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) has been described by Mr Bell as a ‘game changer’ for the Isle of Man. It is believed that it will be a model that will ultimately be rolled out across Europe and beyond.
Mr Teare said: ‘This week’s visit to London was extremely successful in terms of building further awareness of the island’s ability to adapt to a rapidly and decisively changing global environment.
‘Our track record of leadership on global tax issues really struck a chord. We must continue to drive home the message that investors have a lot to gain by doing business in the Isle of Man.
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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