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The Bahamas and Spain sign Tax Information Exchange Agreement

The Bahamas and the Kingdom of Spain signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreement during a ceremony at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Thursday, March 11, 2010. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs the Hon Brent Symonette signed on behalf of The Bahamas, and His Excellency Jesus Silva, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Spain signed for that country.

"The execution of this agreement with the Kingdom of Spain further expands the tax cooperation network the Government of The Bahamas put in place to implement the internationally accepted standards in respect of transparency and effective information exchange in tax matters," Mr Symonette said.

The agreement brought the total number of TIEAs concluded by The Bahamas to 19; 13 of which are with members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

"It is the Government's view that the Commonwealth of The Bahamas is now better placed, as in international financial centre to benefit from new opportunities in the changing international regulatory environment," Mr Symonette said.

The Deputy Prime Minister thanked Ambassador Silva for the direct role he played in the process, which has led to the execution of the agreement.  The negotiators were also given credit for the collaborative and cooperative spirit in which the negotiations were conducted.

"This agreement with Spain further strengthens the longstanding relations and friendship which exist between our two countries and provides for an enhanced framework for economic cooperation between us," Mr Symonette said. "The Bahamas looks forward to continuing to strengthen the relationship between Spain and The Bahamas."

Ambassador Silva commended The Bahamas for its "professional and high technical abilities" through the Ministry of Finance staff, which negotiated terms of the agreement.

He said The Bahamas has gone far beyond the 12 countries it initially announced it would be signing TIEAs with.

"The Bahamas signed also with countries that have a certain weight in terms of financial status. You have gained some credibility and are seen as seriously approaching these matters in the financial world," he said

Ambassador Silva said signing the agreement was a symptom of the relationship The Bahamas and Spain formed over the years.

The Deputy Prime Minister also thanked Spain for its support in concluding Schengen Visa Waiver agreements with the countries that require it for travel purposes.