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Offshore News 2008

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on investment promotion co-operation has been signed between Hong Kong and Canada. Also, it was announced that Hong Kong and the Mainland China signed the 2nd protocol to the Arrangement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation & Prevention of Fiscal Evasion that regards taxes on income. According to the 2008 Index of Economic Freedom, Hong Kong has been ranked the world's freest economy.

The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) has concluded information exchange agreement with the Office of the Insurance Commissioner of Washington State in the U.S. CIMA also signed a MOU for the exchange of information and investigative assistance with the United Kingdom's Financial Services Authority. In 2008, a key milestone has been achieved by Cayman financial services industry, which informed about the registration of more than 10 000 investment funds.

The 19th Annual Report issued by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) summarized advances made by the organization in fighting money laundering and terrorist financing. The Report also included evaluations of the anti-money laundering/ counter-terrorist financing systems of Canada, Finland, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, the UAE, Qatar and Russia. Later, the joint meeting of FATF and the Council of Europe Committee of Experts of the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and Financing of Terrorism was organized where the typologies of money laundering and terrorist financing were discussed.

In October 2008, leaders of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries met in Paris to discuss the implementation of more restrictions on offshore centres, aimed to establish tighter regulation of the global financial system. The meeting was not attended by the jurisdictions with banking secrecy such as Switzerland, Austria and Luxembourg.

   
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