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Bahamas Seeks German Support In OECD Talks

by Amanda Banks,, London

21 November 2007

The Government of the Bahamas is seeking assistance from the Federal Republic of Germany in its continued talks with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, regarding transparency in its financial services sector.

Bahamas Governor General, Arthur Hanna made the request as he accepted Letters of Credence from Jurgen Engel, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, during a recent ceremony at Government House.

About six years ago, the Bahamas was blacklisted by the OECD as a 'harmful' tax haven, and enacted a package of wide-ranging legislation to enhance the transparency and accountability of the financial services sector.

Hanna explained that the Bahamas appreciated Germany’s and the European Union’s sensitivity to the vulnerability of a small island developing state like the Bahamas, and the ensuing, “indispensable, supportive national policies and practices dictated by global interdependence.”

He added: “The Bahamas applauds Germany’s global economic status as well as her political leadership on the European continent in the context of EU integration, and intentionally, at the United Nations, especially with respect to the important, historic debate on Security Council reform.”

Hanna also acknowledged the accreditation of a German Ambassador to the Caribbean Community (Caricom).

“This speaks volumes of the commitment of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany to this significant institution for our sub-region," he observed.

The Governor General noted Ambassador Engel’s experience in the region, having served in Latin America and mostly in Central America.

“With such experience and awareness on which to draw, I reiterate my confidence that your tenure will see the deepening and elevation of Bahamas/German relations for mutual benefit,” the Governor General announced.

Ambassador Engel stated that relations between both countries have always been harmonious, with mutual respect, understanding and friendship as the hallmark.

“Given the already excellent rapport between our two governments as well as between our people, I make it my task to forge even stronger ties between the Bahamas and Germany, a task to which I assure your Excellency I will give my best effort,” he stated.

Regarding economic cooperation, Engel said that he was confident that it is possible to further stimulate German investment in the Bahamas. In the area of economics, he said his government continues to value very highly the support it has received from the Government of the Bahamas in Germany’s initiatives at the UN.

“Against the background of your own experience with the EU, Germany has always strongly sympathised with the efforts of countries in other regions to join forces, both politically and economically,” Engel announced, continuing: “We, therefore, continue to follow with keen interest the steps by The Bahamas in the context of the Caricom integration process.”

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