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Isle of Man Hosts Netherlands Antilles State Secretary of Finance 10 November 2008

On 7 November 2008, the Isle of Man was visited by Mr Alex Rosaria, State Secretary of Finance of the Netherlands Antilles.

Most of Mr Rosaria’s time was spent in extensive discussions with the Isle of Man Treasury Minister, Allan Bell, MHK, but he was also briefed by a number of senior government officers and had a meeting with Chief Minister Tony Brown, MHK.

The Isle of Man and the Netherlands Antilles are widely recognised as leading the way among smaller international financial services centres in implementing global benchmark standards of financial regulation and in concluding tax co-operation agreements with member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD): most recently by the Secretary-General of the OECD, Angel Gurría, in a speech in Paris on 21 October 2008.

In his speech, Secretary-General Gurría said that to improve the fight against international tax evasion the member countries attending the meeting needed to make a number of changes, including:

“…a clear political recognition being given to those offshore financial centres that have made progress. The politicians in those jurisdictions have taken a high political risk. You need to show them that the choices that they made are the right ones…”

Ministers Bell and Rosaria discussed how the Isle of Man and the Netherlands Antilles could collaborate going forward, not only with each other and with those countries with which they already have tax co-operation agreements, but also with other countries seeking to improve their own regulatory and tax co-operation standards.

Minister Bell said, “The global financial services market and the attitudes of the world’s major economies are undergoing unprecedented changes. It is vital that those countries providing high-quality financial services work together more closely, to ensure that their voices are heard. For smaller financial services centres like the Isle of Man, I see an increasing need for strategic partnerships and for the sharing of best practice, and in this context, the visit of Minister Rosaria has been very useful. The Isle of Man looks forward to working more closely with the Netherlands Antilles, which will benefit both countries.”

Malcolm Couch

Assessor of Income Tax

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