Last updated: 17 December 2017, 4:53 pm
The Caribbean Community has said it strongly objects to the inclusion of some member states on a European Union list of tax havens.
The Secretary-General Irwin LaRocque urged France to leverage its influence within the EU to ensure no “arbitrary and punitive actions” are taken against CARICOM nations.
He was speaking to the new ambassador to France, Antoine Joly.
“This decision by the EU has been based on new and unilaterally-determined criteria, that go beyond the generally accepted international tax transparency and accountability standards which our countries have been diligently meeting over the past several years,” he said.
“CARICOM strongly objects to this listing of our member states and calls on the EU to remove our member states from this pernicious list.”
He noted that CARICOM stood ready to discuss this matter with the European Council.
A major consequence of “blacklisting” was the “de-risking” strategies that included the withdrawal of correspondent banking services by certain international banks, the CARICOM Secretary-General told the French envoy.
He said that this action has had a “detrimental impact on the trade and financial operations” of the region’s economies.
“As ambassador to the community, your direct engagement in promoting awareness about the extent of our capabilities and the obstacles we face in our aspirations for economic development is of great significance.”