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Netherland Antilles To Seek Tax And Customs Deal With Colombia

by Leroy Baker,, New York

20 June 2007

Netherland Antilles State Secretary of Finance Alex Rosaria plans to be in Colombia later this week where the two governments will discuss the launch of negotiations towards a tax and customs agreement.

According to a report by Caribbean Net News, given the increasing business, air and sea links between the two countries, Rosaria has argued that a Double Tax Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) and a Mutual Customs Assistance Treaty will further enhance trade and investment opportunities.

“The South American market is very important for us. A DTA with Venezuela is practically finalised and we hope to soon be able to sign it," Rosaria stated.

The Finance Secretary also divulged that a Netherland Antilles government delegation plans to visit Brazil, Latin America's largest economy, later in the year.

After tending to shun economic agreements with both its regional trading partners and the wider global economy, the Netherland Antilles has set about expanding its double tax treaty network in recent months. Last month, the central government of the jurisdiction received a request from the United Kingdom government to initiate negotiations that would lead to the introduction of a bilateral tax agreement. This agreement would take the form of a "mini" tax treaty, combining elements of a Tax Information and Exchange Agreement (TIEA) and a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA).

Rosaria has said that the UK request reflects the success of the government's policy to promote the jurisdiction as a reputable and well-regulated financial centre. “Once we start signing fiscal treaties with certain countries, automatically other countries would want to do the same," he stated recently, according to the St Maarten Daily Herald. "Eventually the broader our network of treaties the more beneficial this would be for our economy and job market."

The Netherland Antilles recently concluded a TIEA with both Australia and New Zealand, which will provide for full exchange of information on criminal and civil tax matters between the governments, and in March 2007, a TIEA with the United States came into force following the exchange of diplomatic notes.

The jurisdiction has also been pursuing talks with the governments of Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago towards the creation of double tax treaties. A TIEA with Spain is also on the agenda.

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