Caribbean News in Brief – August 20-09

FIGHTING CORRUPTION

Kingston, Jamaica: Prime Minister Bruce Golding is vowing to tackle corruption.

Speaking at a town hall meeting in Junction, St. Elizabeth, Golding said the government will increase its efforts to cease corruption and stealing.

He said the country is not getting a dollar of value for every tax dollar spent because of these abuses.

Golding also vowed to tell the truth about the impact of the economic crisis on Jamaica and cautioned Jamaicans to prepare themselves for a recovery program.

DEFENDING DECISION

Georgetown, Guyana: President Bharrat Jagdeo has been defending his country’s decision to join the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR).

Jagdeo, whose country takes over the chairmanship of UNASUR next year, said the grouping, consisting of what he termed “progressive leaders”, is consolidating itself to reject the dictates of developed countries.

“We have decided to strengthen ties with Latin America,” Jagdeo said. “We are trying to create greater opportunities for our people within this region in addition to being part of CARICOM so we don’t have to take policy directions from the North.”

MAKING ‘WHITE LIST’

George Town, Cayman Islands: The Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands have made it onto the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) ‘white list’.

The two countries made it into the highly-sought after category after both countries signed their 12th Tax Information Exchange Agreement. Both British territories signed deals with New Zealand.

The Director of the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, Jeffrey Owens, welcomed the move by both countries.

“The British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands take their place alongside other countries that have substantially implemented the internationally agreed tax standard,” Owens said. “We look forward to working further with the British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands as they extend their network of agreements and work to swiftly and effectively implement them.”

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