Antilles to top-10 financial services sector

The objection is and remains in the coming years to get the Netherlands Antilles in the world’s top-10 of the international financial services sector, says Alex Rosaria, Finance-state secretary, looking back on the past year.


He did this recently when the Council of ministers met for the last time in 2008, which was an occasion for him to briefly list the 2008 achieved fiscal affairs’ figures. He will publish a complete report In January of 2009. Rosaria says now: “A lot of work has been done, but we still have a lot to do and we definitely cannot rest on our laurels. We still have a long way to go. A faraway success requires long time to get there. Considering the developments on the international financial markets, it’s good to sound it out. The round table meeting with the international financial services sector in November of 2008 pointed out that the sector is sufficiently stable to face up the current developments. In fact, we must continue venture and do more to achieve our objective of getting into the top-10.”

Rosaria has a number of instruments at his disposal to realize this objective, which is enlarging the network of fiscal treaties, getting rid of notings on the black lists, marketing of the sector, a competitive fiscal system, and a thorough supervision. He says that he has already mentioned at the beginning of 2008 that the red line in the coming years will be ‘venture more, do more’. “This means that we must push back frontiers, but not assuming the limitations of the international financial services sector, but more its possibilities.”

Green light
Rosaria has signed a fiscal information exchange treaty (TIEA) with Spain last year. A similar treaty was also negotiated with Mexico and the wait is now for Mexico to set a date for the signing.
Furthermore, the negotiations with Canada, Denmark, Greenland, Finland, Iceland, and Sweden are rounded off and we are now only waiting for the go ahead on signing. Rosaria says that negotiations with Italy and Kazakhstan are in the pipeline for 2009. The Netherlands Antilles have currently four TIEA’s, namely with the United States of America, Australia, New-Zealand, and Spain. Negotiations with Surinam and the United Arab Emirates on treaties to prevent double taxation (DTA) started in 2008. Negotiations with Jamaica start on January 12 and also with Ecuador and Isle of Man will be discussed in the first quarter of 2009. The Netherlands Antilles has currently DTA’s with Norway, the Netherlands, and Aruba (BRK).

Black lists
Rosaria says that special attention was paid to the black lists of countries that have erroneously labeled the Netherlands Antilles as a fiscal paradise. Actions were started towards the EU to get the Neth.Antilles off the fiscal black lists of Portugal, Italy, Poland, and Greece. Expectations are that the technical deliberation with the fiscal authorities of Brazil and the diplomatic exchange of notes with Kazakhstan will lead to taking the Netherlands Antilles off the respective black lists. The arrangement with Isla of Man is to work together on international level to discourage the arbitrary use of fiscal black lists.

Rosaria says the marketing of the international financial services product Neth.Antilles has been stressed. A study is being made on how to better market the sector. There have also been road shows to Belgium and several ambassadors were informed of the role, the importance, and the effort of the international financial services sector of the Antilles. “Also an important objective is ultimately achieved in The Hague, namely that Ambassadors for the Kingdom will dedicate themselves more to the international financial services sector of the Netherlands Antilles.”

The supervision of the Bank of the Netherlands Antilles (BNA) and the Reporting of Unusual Transactions (MOT) is doing well. “With the coming dismantling, the fiscal system of the Neth.Antilles will make way for a fiscal regime for the new Land Curacao. The propositions currently on the table regarding the fiscal system for the new Land Curacao seem encouraging.”

(Source: National newspaper Amigoe)

5 January, 2009


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