Government Hosts Financial Services Industry Briefing

The Bahamas government hosted an Industry Briefing Session on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) and other International Initiatives facing the financial services sector. Remarks were brought by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Hon. K. Peter Turnquest, The Attorney General, Hon. Carl Wilshire Bethel Q.C. and The Minister of Financial Services, Trade, industry and Immigration - Hon. T. Brent Symonette.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Hon. Peter Turnquest in opening the briefing session indicated that the government was proactively dealing with matters relative to the financial services to avoid The Bahamas being in a reactive mode. He outlined that as a matter of priority we must determine our position on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS).

Hon. T. Brent Symonette indicated that efforts are well underway with respect to improving efficiencies in Immigration processes, implementation of the Common Reporting Standards, Arbitration, Centre for Excellence, Enhancement of government agencies to facilitate ease of process and the ease of doing business as we seek to reposition the industry for growth.

The Attorney General, Hon. Carl Bethel, gave a legislative update on items that would impact the industry including the Proceeds of Crime Bill 2017 and the Financial Transactions Reporting Bill 2017. Attorney General Bethel stressed that embracing change was key to the growth of the sector. The Honourable Attorney General shared that the legislative changes are being made to some extent to address opportunities identified during the Bahamas' recent Caribbean Action Task Force (CFATF) Mutual Evaluation which took place in 2016. However, the ultimate objective is proactively address emerging identified risks facing the sector.

Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) A presentation on BEPS what BEPS is, what is driving the initiatives and the steps that must be taken by the Bahamas to implement BEPS minimum standards were outlined.

Base Erosion and Profit shifting (BEPS) has been defined by the OECD as tax avoidance strategies that exploit gaps and...

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