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Cayman Islands Engages With Tax Critics

by Mike Godfrey, Lowtax.net, Washington
18 April, 2017

The Cayman Islands sought to face critics head-on at a recent conference on the issue of tax transparency, organized by the territory's financial services ministry.

The "Tax Transparency in the Global Financial Services Ecosystem" conference brought together some of the jurisdiction's major critics, including representatives from anti-tax haven non-governmental organizations, and representatives from the OECD, to discuss the issue of international tax transparency.

Local experts, and Jude Scott of Cayman Finance, the territory's financial services promotion agency, engaged in panel debates and discussions with local industry representatives, as well as those from overseas, including Alex Cobham from the Tax Justice Network. The aim was to confront the differences that exist when it comes to offshore finance and international tax, and to find some common ground.

Ahead of the conference, which included a keynote address from the OECD tax expert Pascal Saint-Amans, the Cayman Minister of Financial Services, Wayne Panton, stressed the importance of engaging with critics. Panton said: "My hope… is that during this conference we can have a fruitful conversation about how to improve the global tax framework in a fair, equitable, and responsible manner."

He added: "... as we have this conversation, no one here is an opponent. Misunderstandings can be resolved, prejudices can be quelled, and energies can be focused on real issues, rather than on phoney debates with no substance to give them merit."

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