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The premier and minister of finance of the British Virgin Islands, Orlando Smith, has responded to UK prime minister David Cameron's recognition that the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies operate "fair and open systems."
"I thank The Prime Minister, the Rt Hon David Cameron, for setting the record straight and acknowledging that the BVI should no longer be labelled as a 'tax haven'," the premier said.
He continued: "For many years the BVI has implemented the highest international standards on transparency, accountability and information exchange on tax matters, as set out by international bodies such as the OECD.
"We strongly agree with Mr Cameron's assessment that the focus should now shift to those countries that really are tax havens. We have long argued that to create a level playing field, all financial centers should be covered by global agreements on regulatory standards. The BVI considers it particularly important that in order to achieve fairness and overall success on these issues policies should be raised to the highest level of established international standards to ensure across-the-board compliance.
"I reiterate my Government's support for the UK's agenda on tax, trade and transparency and fully support all efforts aimed at establishing global standards. The BVI will continue to be a constructive partner in evolving and setting the highest standards of regulation. We are proud of our part in the global economy and we believe that good regulation is good for business. We are pleased this has now been recognized by the UK Government."
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