So concerned is Prime Minister Mia Mottley about the European Union’s blacklisting of Barbados as a non-cooperative tax jurisdiction, that she is prepared to travel to Europe and meet with high-level officials to deal with the matter.
She made that position clear recently when the EU’s new Ambassador, Malgorzata Wasilewska, paid her a courtesy call.
Prime Minister Mottley said the blacklisting issue was one of her biggest headaches, as she highlighted how hard Barbados had worked to get the economy back on track and improve its various systems.
“This situation is wrong and is now having consequences for day-to-day living,” she said.
Mottley said it was necessary to settle this issue so that the EU and Barbados could work together on other critical matters, such as the climate crisis, data privacy and human rights.
Barbados made required changes to its tax exchange framework by December 2019, but did not meet the deadline of the Global Forum of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for the July 2015 to June 2018 review period. As a result, the Global Forum placed the island on its list of “partially compliant” jurisdictions earlier this year.
The EU subsequently placed Barbados on its list of “non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes” and kept the country there when it issued its latest list in early October.
During the wide-ranging discussion with Ambassador Wasilewska, Prime Minister Mottley, who is co-chairing the One Health Global Leaders Group on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), also spoke extensively on AMR, including what it means for Barbados and the Caribbean to be a part of the leadership grouping.
She also discussed how the EU could help continue the far-reaching body of research that has started in this area.
Ambassador Wasilewska said it was important for Barbados and the EU to map out what needs to be done, as she emphasised the critical nature of partnership.
Others at the courtesy call included Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator Dr Jerome Walcott and Acting Permanent Secretary in that Ministry Donna Forde; Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office Alies Jordan; and Head of the EU Delegation’s Political and Press and Information section Ovidiu-Viorel Naftanaila.