The Government of Bermuda and Qatar have signed a Double Taxation Agreement at a ceremony in Bermuda on Thursday, May 10. H.E. Paula A. Cox, JP, MP, Bermuda Premier and Minister of Finance while H.E. Moftha Jassim Al Moftah, Director of Public Revenues and Taxes Department, Ministry of Economy and Finance, signed for Qatar. He was was joined by Mr. Saeed Al Hejazi, Secretary of Tax Agreement Committee, Public Revenue and Tax Department, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Qatar.
In her remarks following the signing ceremony, Premier Cox said, the Agreement formalised a strong bond of friendship, commitment to mutual assistance in trade and cooperation in tax information exchange between the two countries. It was a government's strategy to position Bermuda to attract the Global Islamic financial services industry to the Island.
She reminded the audience that prior to becoming Premier, as Minister of Finance she had taken a lead by leading a trade trip to Bahrain in 2010 as a key element of an initiative to promote a real engagement with the GCC region.
"My Government has, as a priority, the issue of jobs and being open for global business as we get Bermuda's economic recovery and stimulus actions on track by increasing opportunities with broader international markets. Today's ceremony marks another step forward in our aim to further Bermuda as a Western hub for the Islamic financial services industry."
"The Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) places Bermuda among Qatar's impressive network of 50 DTA's enabling us to market Bermuda as an interconnecting domicile for investment to and from those 50 countries," she said.
Premier Cox went on to say the agreement provides incentive to Qatar entities including Qatar Airways and Bermuda's reinsurance industry and shipping companies around the world that have Qatari or GCC ownership interests
A Memorandum of Understanding was also co-signed by the two countries covering economic, commercial and technical cooperation, including industry, mines energy, agriculture, communications, transportation, construction, labour and tourism. Qatar will assist Bermuda to make further inroads in the GCC region while Bermuda will position ourselves as a hub to access Western markets.
"I am pleased to advise that visits will be planned to look at potential joint venturing on development projects including tourism related opportunities," the Premier said.
The Premier said that Qatar was once described as one of the world's richest countries having, in 2010, the world's highest GDP per capita while its economy grew by 19.40%, the fastest in the world.
"In a very real sense, our Agreement is an important handshake between Bermuda and the State of Qatar for Qatar is the hand in the GCC region and Bermuda could be described as the hook in the West. Qatar local folklore describes the shape of the country as resembling the palm of a right hand extended in prayer, while Bermuda is shaped like a fish hook. With Bermuda using our hook in the West to attract new business and with Qatar using its hand in the GCC to secure further opportunity, a powerful partnership has been formed for the benefit of the people of our respective countries," the Premier said.