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We must celebrate our own

Going placers: Wayne Brown, left, in his past role as Assistant Financial Secretary (Treaties), signs a tax information exchange agreement between Bermuda and Singapore with T. Jasudasen, the High Commissioner for Singapore (File photograph)

There are tangible benefits for persons belonging to sophisticated jurisdictions whose services are international in scope. Experience is gained through opportunity and exposure. In Bermuda, as everywhere, the opportunity may arise in either the private or the public sector of the economy. The country is nourished by its opportunities; not just in a subtle way, but in a tangible correlation that can be seen in the development of its people.

As an example, and regardless of politics, the country and businesses are comforted by having Curtis Dickinson as Minister of Finance. He is regarded and called in quiet conversations “a Wall Street man” or otherwise given credit for his experience, not just his educational degree.

No, he is not expected to turn water into wine, but it is expected that he will apply absolute professionalism to his post. He is not alone: there are perhaps several in a variety of areas dotted all over the world who are Bermudian and internationally known for their expertise.

In a similar vein, we have celebrated the accomplishments of Arlene Brock, who became a trailblazer in the newly emerged field of ombudsman and was chosen to be the director for the African Ombudsman Research Centre.

It might have gone unnoticed, but perhaps more significant recently, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development appointed Wayne Brown as one of four to sit on the co-ordinating body for all the tax treaties. It is significant because it was not long ago that Bermuda, albeit through misadventure, was on the blacklist. In particular, when recalling the seeming hostility the former finance minister expressed, the selection of Brown had to be one of merit and recognition of his skill set and professionalism.

Brown, also known as Abdul Rahman, is a consummate professional whose experience began in the international arena of insurance before he joined the Government. Known to be analytical in character, he is a stickler for detail and carries his professional ethics to the point that he will never divulge anything of government unless already in the public domain and even then would probably refer one to the source of the public information.

He deserves our congratulations because he did not just elevate himself, but he elevated Bermuda as well in this appointment.

The Co-ordinating Body

In accordance with Article 24(3) and (4) of the UN Model Tax Convention on Income and Capital, the Co-ordinating Body is responsible for monitoring the implementation and development of the convention, including:

• Acting as a forum to increase international co-operation in tax matters

• Recommending revisions or amendments to the convention

• Furnishing opinions on the interpretation of provisions of the convention

• Serving as the body through which decisions are taken to invite states to become parties to the convention

• Co-ordinating the implementation of Multilateral Competent Authority Agreements

The Co-ordinating Body is composed of representatives of the competent authorities of the parties to the convention, and includes the competent authorities of territories to which the convention applies. The Co-ordinating Body is led by the chairman and three vice-chairmen. The present officers are: chairman John Nash, of New Zealand, and vice-chairmen Paul Marsh, of Britain, Nancy Tremblay, of Canada, and Wayne Brown, of Bermuda.