Leaders and other government representatives from the Overseas Territories along with UK officials have been planning the agenda for this year’s Joint Ministerial Meeting (JMC).
Called the ‘Pre-JMC’, this year’s meeting by video link, discussed issues including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and support from the UK, post-COVID economic recovery and resilience, disaster preparedness, and border security.
A key issue placed on the agenda by Premier Wayne Panton of the Cayman Islands concerns the financial services sector.
The Cayman Islands GIS reports that Mr Panton secured “a soon-to-be-scheduled virtual meeting of financial services ministers, and an undertaking from the other OTs to issue a joint letter seeking clarification of the purpose of the Joint Declaration on Financial Services Regulatory Cooperation between the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK)”.
The sector, a main economic pillar for Cayman and several other jurisdictions, continues to be the focus of intense scrutiny by EU and international agencies monitoring low tax jurisdictions.
The respective governments insist that they have been complying with all the agreed regulations.
The Pre-JMC meeting also served as the Political Council meeting for the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Association (UKOTA), allowing leaders to make decisions on the operation of the organisation and receive updates on its work over the past year.
UKOTA members approved a memorandum of understanding with the Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA) of the EU, which they plan to sign at a meeting with OCTA at the end of June.
The President of UKOTA, currently Bermudan Premier David Burt, is expected to shortly issue a letter on behalf of the BOTs to the UK Minister for the Overseas Territories outlining the proposed key agenda items for the upcoming JMC in November.
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