PM reports successful meeting in Belgium with European Commission

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Having led a delegation to the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium, a statement released yesterday from the Office of the Prime Minister outlined that the nation’s chief met with Stephen Quest, the Director General of the Directorate Generale for Taxation and Customs Union of the European Commission on Tuesday.

According to the statement, both parties agreed that the meeting was very “constructive”.

The Directorate Generale of the European Commission is responsible for the implementation of taxation policy in the European Union.

The prime minister’s discussions with EU officials in Belgium was in an effort to protect the financial services sector of The Bahamas, to maintain a relevant and competitive position of the sector, and to take proactive steps to protect the country’s national economic interests.

“This meeting allowed The Bahamas to ensure that the European Commission clearly understood the importance to The Bahamas of its longstanding relationship with member states of the European Union, in particular, our trade relationship under the Economic Partnership Agreement,” the prime minister said.

The statement outlined that the parties also discussed the implementation by The Bahamas of commitments agreed and recently enacted to further and to maintain good economic relations with the European Union.

Tuesday’s meeting between the Prime Minister and the Director General was said to be a part of an ongoing process which included prior technical meetings.

“It provided the opportunity for the Prime Minister to reaffirm the commitments of The Bahamas at the highest levels,” the statement read.

“The meeting also allowed Attorney General Carl Bethel to give an overview and discuss the new legislative regime with the Director General.

“The Director General welcomed and appreciated the presence of the Prime Minister, and the significant commitment demonstrated on behalf of The Bahamas.

“Director General Quest noted that The Bahamas and the European Commission enjoy a productive and long-standing relationship. He encouraged and supported ongoing engagement.

“As the head of government, the Prime Minister reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to the highest level of the Directorate Generale,” the statement concluded.

The prime minister returns to the capital today.