Minister engages EU stakeholders on financial services and maritime matters

Minister André Ebanks (back, fourth from left) supported the Cayman Islands delegation during their maritime meetings in Greece.

Minister of Financial Services and Commerce André Ebanks engaged with key stakeholders in Spain and Greece on separate financial services and commerce initiatives last week.

Minister Ebanks met with Maria José Garde, the Spanish General Director of Taxation and Chair of the EU Code of Conduct Group, and other officials in Madrid, Spain on 2 October 2023 to discuss international tax cooperation matters and other regulatory updates. 

Earlier this year Spain released a national list of 24 non-cooperative tax jurisdictions that included the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Jersey, Guernsey and others. None of the aforementioned jurisdictions are contained in the EU’s list of non-cooperative jurisdictions in tax matters, which was originally conceived to consolidate and replace national lists.

Spain said it would regularly review its list in light of international updates and developments and changes in domestic legislation. 

From there, Minister Ebanks travelled to Athens, Greece, the centre of European commercial shipping, to support Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands (MACI) CEO Joel Walton and his staff in their business development meetings with members of the Greek shipping community.

The Greece trip was part of MACI’s year-long celebrations of the 120-year anniversary of the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry, a division of MACI.

The Cayman Islands is in the midst of modernising its maritime sector and enhancing its legislative framework to attract more international shipping business.

“These meetings come at an important time, where we are maintaining our good international standing with regards to tax, finalising a modernised Merchant Shipping Act to assist with the enhancement of our maritime-related business, while celebrating the 120th anniversary of our Shipping Registry. I’m optimistic that the result of these meetings will lead to stronger maritime ties and new international shipping business opportunities for our Maritime Authority,” Minister Ebanks said.

At the end of this month, Minister Ebanks along with the Attorney General, Samuel Bulgin, will attend the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Plenary in Paris, primarily to represent the Cayman Islands during proceedings which will determine whether the Cayman Islands will be removed from the FATF list of jurisdictions with anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism deficiencies. In addition, while in the EU, Minister Ebanks will represent the Cayman Islands at the 2023 EU Tax Symposium in Brussels.

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