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Global Forum on Taxation 10 June 2004

Ian Kelly, Assessor of Income Tax and Colin Goodwin from the Treasury’s Income Tax Division, together with Mark Shimmin, Chief Financial Officer, represented the Isle of Man at the OECD’s meeting in Berlin on 3rd and 4th June.

The meeting was convened to further discuss the process of achieving the objective of a global level playing field based on high standards of transparency and effective exchange of information in tax matters. It brought together over 100 representatives from 42 Governments, both OECD and non-OECD, that are committed to that objective.

The meeting focused on specific proposals made by a sub-group of the Global Forum, established at the Ottawa Global Forum meeting in October 2003. The proposals set forth a process for moving towards a global level playing field consistent with the objective of high standards of transparency and information exchange in tax matters in a way that is fair, equitable and permits fair competition between all countries, large and small, OECD and non-OECD.

The Global Forum participants broadly endorsed the proposals submitted by the sub-group and agreed that the sub-group should continue its work in the compilation of transparency and information exchange practices currently applied by all OECD countries, all non-OECD Participating Partners and significant financial centres that are outside these two groups.

The Global Forum looked forward to engaging in a dialogue with financial centres that up to now have not participated in the process. It also looked forward to reviewing the outcome of the compilation of current practices in transparency and information exchange at a future Global Forum meeting.

Mark Shimmin said:

"From the outset, the Isle of Man has emphasised the fundamental importance of a global level playing field. The fact that other significant financial centres such as Hong Kong and Singapore will be invited shortly to enter into dialogue with the OECD’s Global Forum is welcomed. The review of the current practices of all OECD countries, non-OECD Participating Partners and significant other financial centres, in respect of exchange of information and transparency will be undertaken by the sub-group in which the Isle of Man participates. It will be based on objective criteria and as such is a further welcome development. The Isle of Man continues to play a positive and practical role in the developing work of the Global Forum. It remains important that the Isle of Man uses every relevant opportunity to emphasise to the international community that we are a well-regulated jurisdiction, operating to appropriate international standards, whilst maintaining and developing a competitive business environment."

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