Fiji has called on the Pacific Islands Forum members to renew its call on the EU to re‑examine its criteria and allow for countries to retain sufficient policy space to incentivise development.
While addressing Forum Leaders at the Pacific ACP session in Tuvalu, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama it is regrettable that despite the ongoing discussions at the ACP Ambassadors level in Brussels, as well as with Fiji’s respective tax jurisdictions, the EU has for the second year running, unilaterally decided to include six Forum Island countries, including four Pacific‑ACP States in its purported list of non‑cooperative jurisdiction for tax purposes.
Bainimarama says that Fiji’s tax policies, like that of the other fellow listed countries, are in line with international standards and do not create any tax avoidance opportunities that would allow EU businesses to artificially shift their profits to Fiji to minimise tax.
He adds that international financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund have spoken highly of Fiji’s tax reforms during their various missions to Fiji, and have used Fiji as a model for responsible and innovative economic policy in the region.
Bainimarama says they negotiate a successor agreement, the Pacific island countries must ensure that the new agreement is founded on the principle of genuine partnership of equals between the Pacific and the EU, recognising the need to address the unique challenges and vulnerabilities of the Pacific Island countries.