Due to appear on hard-hitting interview show and speak at corruption conference at Chatham House
Premier Alden McLaughlin is planning an appearance on BBC’s “HARDtalk” on his trip to the United Kingdom, during which he will also deliver a keynote address at the Chatham House think-tank.
“It’s a pretty big stage,” Mr. McLaughlin said of ‘HARDtalk,’ a hard-hitting current affairs interview show. “It’s my honor to represent the Cayman Islands and the overseas territories. We all have a good story to tell. As far as we are aware, this will be the first appearance of a leader from an overseas territory to appear on ‘HARDtalk.’”
Topics for the TV show, which is presented by Stephen Sackur, include Cayman’s status as an international finance center, the use of the term “tax haven,” international efforts to curb tax avoidance, banking regulation in the Cayman Islands and reported recent tensions between Caymanians and the expat community.
Mr. McLaughlin is also set to deliver one of two keynote addresses during the two-day conference on corruption held at Chatham House, a place not typically high on the list of offshore finance supporters.
The title of the conference is Combatting Global Corruption: Shared Standards and Common Practice. The event will be held Feb. 3 and 4.
The conference will explore potential ways to tackle global corruption and consider the role of governments and businesses in doing so. Participants and speakers will assess international efforts and consider their consequences for future business practices and governance.
“It’s rare that a leader of a U.K. [Overseas] Territory has the opportunity to address anti-corruption initiatives from a global perspective,” Mr. McLaughlin said.
One Chatham House associate, Nick Shaxson, wrote the book “Treasure Islands” about Cayman and other jurisdictions he termed “offshore tax havens.”
During a 2012 interview, Mr. Shaxson noted his views on the subject: “The United Kingdom … runs a huge network of satellite tax havens around it, feeding the City of London.
“The U.K. and its overseas territories, which it partly controls, include the Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, British Virgin Islands. Massive tax havens. And also the crown dependencies which are Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. And these are all like, in Treasure Islands I describe it as a bit like a spider’s web with the City of London at the middle.
“So these places are capturing money from around the world, and the business of handling the money from around the world and funneling this money up to London.”
The premier also plans to meet with officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office while in London.
Traveling with the premier, his office confirmed, will be Cabinet Secretary Samuel Rose and Senior Political Adviser Roy Tatum.