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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 (SECO).
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 reporting.
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
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