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Barbados urges Latin America to support Caribbean’s lobbying efforts


Barbados urges Latin America to support Caribbean’s lobbying efforts

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BARBADOS HAS CALLED on Latin American countries, especially those who are members of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), to “lend their voices more forcefully to support the lobby in the Caribbean for a more enlightened approach on the OECD with regard to the nature and role of international business services in our economies”. 

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Senator Darcy Boyce, made this appeal at the Third Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), held in Belén, Costa Rica, from January 28 to 29.

Minister Boyce stated that even within the fold of CELAC, there was often a lack of sensitivity and true appreciation for the tax structures and instruments in low tax domiciles like Barbados, and how those structures help to encourage investments in the countries.                                                                                                                                                                                                                “We think that it is only lack of information that hampers our efforts to conclude or even discuss bilateral tax instruments, for example, with many Members of CELAC. We would be pleased to see a greater level of engagement and commitment and support in these matters by our CELAC brothers,” the Minister observed.

Senator Boyce also appealed for support for the relaxing of the graduation of countries like Barbados in order to have access to concessional financing.

 “It is also our hope that there can be greater-voiced support for the Caribbean emanating from within the CELAC in matters related to graduation, where too often the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) maintain a fixation with standard economic indicators like GDP and PCI.

“We who are engaged in the day-to-day management of our economies know that factors like vulnerability to natural hazards and the lack of natural resources impinge on efforts to manage budgets, re-distribute income and build infrastructure.  We need your support to help persuade the IFIs to reverse or, at the very least, relax the graduation of countries like ours, and so enable us to have access to some concessional financing to help us to continue building our economy,” he stated.

The CELAC Summit was held under the theme Building Together. CELAC Member States adopted a CELAC Action Plan for 2015 and a total of 27 special declarations on a wide range of issues confronting the region. These include the vulnerabilities of Small Island Developing States; the global nature of climate change; the prevention and fight against corruption; the challenges of CELAC middle-income countries; the Post-2015 Development Agenda; and the protection of children and adolescents against bullying.

The CELAC comprises 33 sovereign states in the region, and aims to deepen the political, economic, social and cultural integration of Latin America and the Caribbean. It has established three primary mechanisms for hemispheric engagement, namely, the annual CELAC Summit; the CELAC Foreign Ministers dialogue and meetings; and the CELAC National Coordinators. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs/BGIS)