Premier Alden McLaughlin left the Cayman Islands on Wednesday to attend meetings in London, Brussels, Paris, Berlin and New York to continue discussions about recently approved economic substance legislation and Cayman’s efforts to meet international standards for the financial services industry.
He is joined by Minister for Financial Services Tara Rivers, Attorney General Samuel Bulgin and other ministry officials in the talks about global developments in the finance industry and Cayman’s continued efforts to avoid an European Union tax blacklisting.
The delegation will outline the steps taken by the Cayman Islands to meet EU requirements, reaffirm Cayman’s commitment to international standards and address any concerns of global partners, the Premier’s Office said in a press release.
In December, lawmakers approved the International Tax Co-operation (Economic Substance) Bill and two other pieces of legislation to reform its tax system.
A year earlier, the EU had provisionally excluded Cayman from its blacklist of countries considered uncooperative in tax matters under the condition that Cayman’s government would commit to instituting the required changes by the end of 2018.
The EU specifically criticized Cayman for a lack of substance requirements in its legislation that could enable companies that have little or no economic activity in Cayman to attract substantial profits generated elsewhere.
The EU also urged Cayman to treat domestic companies and exempted companies, which typically only operate outside the islands, legally in the same way.
It is expected that the EU will announce in February whether the legislative changes are sufficient to keep Cayman off the blacklist and avoid potential punitive measures.
In New York, the premier has been invited to speak at the Cayman Finance Breakfast Seminar where he and the delegation will continue to promote the Cayman Islands as a reliable and stable jurisdiction in which to do business.