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FTAA May Not Mean Wholesale Tax Reform For Bahamas

by Amanda Banks, Tax-News.com, London

27 November 2003


Bahamian Trade and Industry Minister Leslie Miller, has stated that the country may not have to restructure its tax regime in order to reach compatibility with a future FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas) agreement after the Miami round of negotiations was concluded last week.

"What was said in the meetings was in fact it may not be necessary for small economies such as The Bahamas to derogate from the norm that is ongoing in the economy today. We may not have to dismantle our tax system," Miller explained at a press conference.

He continued: "I don't think we can expect any country to dismantle its tax regime just to be a participant in this process called FTAA, especially in the Bahamas where our taxation system is not discriminatory; its straight across the board. Personally I don't see any reason why we should have to dismantle our tax system just to become players."

Meanwhile, Hillary Deveaux, executive director of the Securities Commission, was more forthright on the matter. "We should be looking at our tax structure but we should determine when we want to implement change in our tax system, not have FTAA dictate to us," he announced.


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