(SNO) — Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, has blasted international organizations such as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), saying that they make it difficult for small island states to do business.
Recently, the OECD blacklisted a number of Caribbean countries, including Dominica and Saint Lucia, with Citizenship by Investment Programs, saying they threaten international efforts to combat tax evasion.
Speaking in Dominica’s parliament on Monday, on amendment’s to the island’s Offshore Banking Act, Skerrit said imposition by such organizations may even be impinging on the constitutions of regional countries.
“I have always held, madam speaker, and I have made public pronouncements on this, that I believe that these international organizations are imposing their will on people even to the point … and I am not a lawyer, Madam Speaker, it impinges on our constitutions in our region,” he stated.
Skerrit said that he has spoken on the matter in the region and and Caribbean islands must not see it as a partisan issue.
“This is not a partisan issue, this is about our countries and impositions that are placed on every Caribbean country, every one of them,” he stated.
He said that he has spoken on the matter to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank on the issue.
“I said to them what the world is imposing on poor, small jurisdiction like ours will have a serious repercussion on our abilities to create better better opportunities for our people,” Skerrit stated.
In its report late last year, the OECD said countries such as Dominica and Saint Lucia potentially pose a high risk to the integrity of the OECD’s Common Reporting Standard (CRS).
The report from the Paris-based organization said that a second citizenship can be potentially misused to hide assets abroad.
The amendments to Dominica’s Offshore Banking Act now makes it compliant with the OECD’s regulation.