Barbados Not A Non-Cooperative Jurisdiction
Barbados is NOT a non-cooperative jurisdiction in taxation matters or any other matter. The island’s Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, Donville Inniss, stressed this yesterday, as he addressed media representatives on the blacklisting of this country by the European Union (EU). At the offices of International Business, Baobab Tower, Warrens, St. Michael, Minister Inniss forcefully stated: “We remain truly cooperative, but true to our ideals and policies as a sovereign nation, as we strive to be the International Financial jurisdiction of choice.” The proclamation came following his detailing of the country’s efforts to ensure compliance with the EU through weeks of interaction between Barbados, the EU and various international agencies on the matter. Deeming the listing as “extremely unfortunate and unfair” to Barbados, Mr. Inniss said with respect to the way forward, the island would be sending a detailed letter to the EU requesting an urgent review of “their rather unfortunate listing of Barbados as Acknowledging that his country would be urging CARICOM to take the lead on regional dialogue, the International Business Minister explained: “…Being mindful that our region will continue to be under scrutiny and attacks from other regional groupings and multinational organisations, Barbados will once again request a regional dialogue on the matter with the goal of establishing a high level regional team of experts to engage with external parties on behalf of the region. We really expect that CARICOM will take the lead on this matter.” The country, one among four in the Caribbean to be blacklisted by the EU on December 5, will also be engaging all of its officials and private sector partners “to continue to educate our multinational partners on these issues”. To read the full statement from Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, Donville Inniss, on the European Union list of non-cooperative jurisdictions in taxation, you may click here. Article compliments the Barbados Government Information Services.
Exports from Latin America and the Caribbean Back on Growth Path
Following 25 months of uninterrupted contraction, exports of goods from Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) are back on the path to growth. After shrinking by 3.3 percent in 2016, the year-on-year growth between January and June 2017 reached 13.2 percent. Similarly, exports of services, which had already picked up in 2016, grew by 9.7 percent in the first quarter according to the Trade and Integration Monitor 2017, recently published by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). This recovery in export values in the first half of 2017 was widespread: Mesoamerica’s (Central America and Mexico) foreign sales grew by 10.1 percent while those of South America and the Caribbean increased more markedly, at 16.1 percent and 17.9 percent, respectively. However, the report suggests that this growth is fundamentally explained by the increase in commodity prices. It also argues that the growth in export volumes was moderate and was limited to a handful of economies. Between 2010 and 2015, in the wake of the global financial crisis, Latin America and the Caribbean lost some of its global market share due not only to the region´s limited number of export commodities but also to reduced competitiveness. This share went from 6.16 percent to 6.07 percent, which represents a loss of US$14.3 billion for the region. Mexico is the only country in the region that has managed to significantly increase its market share. In fact, during the same period, Mexican exports grew by 30.4 percent and came to account for nearly 40 percent of total exports from LAC in 2015. As a consequence, excluding Mexico, the global market share of the regional dropped by 14.8 percent between 2010 and 2015. “Beyond the recovery, Latin America and the Caribbean is facing a trade scenario that is substantially less favorable than before the global financial crisis. The region needs a new generation of international integration policies. It is all about boosting competitiveness, regaining global share and make the most of the opportunities that come with disruptive technologies like e-commerce,” said Paolo Giordano, Principal Economist at the IDB’s Trade and Integration Sector, the editor of the report. Although e-commerce remains marginal in Latin America, it has grown substantially in recent years. For example, business-to-consumer (B2C) sales in the region reached US$47 billion in 2015, a 24 percent increase over the previous year. Latin America has the highest percentage of online shoppers who only make online purchases abroad (15 percent, while in Asia just 4 percent of online shoppers do). Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina together account for 70 percent of the value of online transactions in the region. With US$15 billion in online sales in 2015, Brazil is the regional frontrunner, followed by Mexico and Argentina, which are worth US$13 billion and US$5 billion, respectively. The Trade and Integration Monitor 2017 was launched at an event in Buenos Aires organized by the IDB’s Integration and Trade Sector and the Institute for the Integration of Latin America and the Caribbean. The data used in the report is based on indicators from the IDB’s trade and integration information system, INTrade. Article compliments Caribbean360.com
Bitcoin surges above $15,000 after climbing $2,000 in 12 hours
LONDON – Bitcoin rocketed above $15,000 for the first time on Thursday, after adding more than $2,000 to its price in fewer than 12 hours. Bitcoin, the world’s biggest and best-known cryptocurrency, has seen a more than fifteenfold surge in its value since the start of the year. It climbed to as high as $15,344 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange around 1420 GMT, leaving it up more than 12 percent on the day, having traded just above $13,000 12 hours earlier <BTC=BTSP>. Many market-watchers said the launch this weekend of bitcoin futures by CBOE, one of the world’s biggest derivatives exchanges, was helping drive up the price on expectations it would draw more investors to the market. “Futures trading will mean more demand…and is a form of ratification of the underlying tech – bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general. They are now on the main stage,” said Charles Hayter, founder of cryptocurrency data analysis firm Cryptocompare. But some are warning that the launch of bitcoin futures, which will allow investors to take speculative “short” positions on the cryptoccurrency, as well as “long” positions, could cause even greater volatility. “Aggressive traders, such as hedge funds and algorithm-driven funds, (will be able) to use this futures market to enter bitcoin trading with high levels of liquidity for aggressive short-selling and knock the prices really low,” said Think Markets analyst Naeem Aslam. “Players now have an incentive to be on the short side and make profits hedging against the upside.” The latest surge brought bitcoin’s “market cap” – its price multiplied by the total number of bitcoins in circulation – to more than $260 billion, according to Coinmarketcap, a trade website. That, in theory, makes its market value higher than that of Visa. The value of all cryptocurrencies now stands at around $415 billion, according to Coinmarketcap. Bitcoin has more than tripled in price since the start of October, putting it on track for its best quarter since the end of 2013, when it surged above $1,000 for the first time. It slumped in 2014, after Mt Gox, then the world’s biggest bitcoin exchange, collapsed, saying it had been hacked and had 650,000 bitcoins stolen. Article compliments Caribbean Business.com