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Cayman Islands Press EU For Level Playing Field

by Amanda Banks,, Brussels

13 December 2005

The Cayman Islands Government continued to press for a level playing field in financial services on behalf of the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) during a recently-concluded meeting with the European Union in Brussels.

Minister for International Financial Services Policy Alden McLaughlin, who led a four-member Cayman delegation to the 4th Overseas Countries and Territories – EU Forum, called on the European Commission to give public recognition to the achievements of these countries and territories in financial regulation, exchange of information, and transparency.

In the face of pressure from the EU and a number of international organisations in recent years for changes in the way many OCTs conduct financial business, Cayman has been calling for such targeted territories to be put on the same level as EU member countries and other groupings.

Mr. McLaughlin urged the European Commission for public recognition of the achievements of financial jurisdictions within the OCT that have met the various requirements placed on their financial operations.

Another key issue discussed at the meeting was the criteria for access to EU development funds which currently ignore vulnerability in favour of per capita GDP. It is argued that the current system of determining eligibility for this aid means that some territories, such as Cayman and the BVI, are inappropriately excluded.

However, Minister McLaughlin expressed satisfaction that the forum has served its purpose in raising issues surrounding treatment of OCTs.

“These meetings confirm my thinking that the Cayman Islands’ interests are best served by constructive participation in the international fora open to us,” the Minister observed after the meeting.

“You can’t even begin to win if you don’t play," he remarked.

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