Commenting on this development, the Minister with responsibility for International Business and International Transport, George Hutson, confirmed that Barbados intended to move quickly to have these agreements brought into force as they are important means of pursuing the country’s longstanding policy of facilitating the reciprocal exchange of tax information.
He noted however, that as a tax-treaty based jurisdiction with a worldwide system of taxation, Barbados would continue to pursue the negotiation of double taxation agreements (DTA) with its OECD Global Forum partners in order to apply the international standard on tax information exchange and support the country’s economic development.
Hutson commended the Nordic Council on their approach to the OECD Global Forum’s work on implementing the international standard on tax information exchange.
“We think that where sovereign states have a choice about what kind of instrument to use to codify the globally accepted standard on information exchange with respect to tax matters it is important that the process admit the possibility of dialogue as the best approach, especially where one country expresses an interest in using an instrument that will not only apply the standard but could support the economic development strategies of both countries,” noted the minister.
In that context, the minister said that Barbados was heartened by Denmark’s openness to tax treaty talks, expressed during the just concluded negotiations.
Speaking about the work of the OECD Global Forum to date, Hutson remarked that Barbados’ experience with Denmark and its dependencies demonstrates the importance of the Forum in facilitating bilateral talks aimed at applying the international standard in the context of supporting the efforts of member states to rebuild and strengthen their economies in the wake of the economic recession.
Barbados also initialed a tax treaty with Iceland, and protocols to its existing tax treaties with Sweden, Norway and Finland. In keeping with its policy on information exchange with respect to tax matters, these agreements will allow both Barbados and the Nordic Council members to apply the global standard on a reciprocal basis.