Castries, St Lucia, March 3, 2015 -
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Government of St. Lucia
today kicked off the first of three workshops designed to help government
officials better measure the costs and benefits of tax incentives and leverage
these incentives to promote productive new investments. The workshops are
supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development of
Canada (DFATD) and Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs
Tax incentives are important tools used by Caribbean governments to attract
and retain investments, which in turn help create jobs and opportunities
for local communities. While the Caribbean has some of the most generous
tax incentives in the world, there is not enough data on their cost in
terms of public revenues foregone, nor estimates of the benefits obtained
in terms of investment generated.
“IFC is committed to improving the investment climate in the Caribbean,”
said Ana Cebreiro, IFC program coordinator for business taxation reform
in Latin America and the Caribbean. “These workshops are part of
a broader program to support business taxation reforms, which is being
implemented in Jamaica, Colombia, and Peru and the Eastern Caribbean to
support effective investment promotion policies.”
The workshops will help key technical personnel in the Organization
of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to estimate the impact of tax incentives
and develop tax expenditure reports to be included in their national budgets
for increased transparency. This information could result in more targeted
investment promotion policies.
Permanent Secretary of the Department of Finance, Economic Affairs, and
Social Security of the Government of St Lucia, Reginald Darius, noted that
this initiative will help the government to apply tax incentives to the
sectors and activities where they are most effective and which will have
the greatest impact on investment and job creation.
Today’s workshop in Castries welcomes representatives from the Ministries
of Finance of six OECS countries, the OECS Secretariat and the Eastern
Caribbean Central Bank. A representative from the Ministry of Finance of
Canada will also participate and share experiences with tax expenditure
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private
enterprises in about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and
influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives
in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org