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Gonsalves raises issue of blacklisting with Italian PM

Gonsalves raises issue of blacklisting with Italian PM

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Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grena-dines Ralph Gonsalves and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi of Italy held a very important bilateral meeting Sunday on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

Gonsalves raised the subject of the blacklisting of St Vincent and the Grenadines, along with 13 other Caribbean countries, as worst tax havens by the European Union.{{more}} Italy is one of the at least 10 European Union member states that support the position that has listed SVG and the other Caribbean countries as “non-cooperative jurisdictions.” Gonsalves said the blacklisting came as a shock, since this country was given clean reports by other agencies, including the OECD, that monitor and report on matters of compliance within the international financial services sector.

In his response, the Italian Prime Minister assured Gonsalves that St Vincent and the Grenadines had been removed from that list and that a formal letter from the Italian government would be sent to St Vincent and the Grenadines stating this position. Prime Minister Gonsalves assured the Italian leader that St Vincent and the Grenadines is doing its part to ensure that all international standards and best practices are adopted and adhered to.

Discussions were also held on the very topical issues of Climate Change and Renewable Energy and Prime Minister Renzi mentioned that Italy is willing to assist financially, as well as through technical assistance, stating that the technologies are available that will enable Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to invest in renewable energy. He issued an invitation to Dr Gonsalves to visit the city of Venice on October 15 and 16 to view examples of the technologies that can assist in the global fight to combat climate change.

Educational training and cooperation in sports as very significant areas of cooperation were also discussed, with the possibility of students being trained in technical and other areas at Italian institutions, and allowing our students to be exposed to elements of Italian culture. In the area of sports, Prime Minister Gonsalves spoke specifically about cooperation in football training, with the possibility of Italian coaches working along with coaches and players in St Vincent and the Grenadines, as well as providing exposure for local coaches, players and teams in Italy. Prime Minister Renzi gave assurances that his country is willing to provide the technical assistance to SVG football and that this is something that can occur in the short term.

Prime Minster Gonsalves thanked the Italian Prime Minister for his support and his commitment to providing that formal notification from his government stating that St Vincent and the Grenadines in not blacklisted as a tax haven, as well as the other undertakings in education and training, and sports. Both leaders pledged to continue to work together on issues of mutual interest for their respective countries.

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