Premier Paula Cox and the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia for the UK and Northern Ireland, His Excellency Yuri Octavian Thamrin sign Bermuda’s 25th TIEA. *Photo supplied
Premier Paula Cox and the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia for the UK and Northern Ireland, His Excellency Yuri Octavian Thamrin sign Bermuda’s 25th TIEA. *Photo supplied

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22: Your Excellency Yuri Octavian Thamrin, Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia, on behalf of the people of Bermuda I am pleased today to sign a bilateral tax information exchange agreement with your country.

The TIEA provides for a full exchange of information on criminal and civil tax matters between our countries. 

This TIEA with Indonesia marks Bermuda’s 25th agreement for the exchange of information on tax matters. 

Negotiations took place in Bermuda one year ago at Bermuda’s Ministry of Finance and I am delighted today that the good will created by our respective negotiating teams is solidified by Bermuda and the Republic of Indonesia signing the TIEA at your Embassy.

The signing of our newest TIEA helps solidify our relationship with an economy that is important to the global financial system. The Republic of Indonesia is a member of the G20 in the Asia Pacific region, the world's third-largest democracy, the world's largest archipelagic state and home to the world's largest Muslim population.

Bermuda continues to strengthen its position as a domicile for the sharia compliant international financial services industry such as Re-takaful (re-insurance), Mutual Fund and Trust business. We consider the Republic of Indonesia as a key strategic relationship that Bermuda is keen to foster.  Resultantly Bermuda works closely with the Republic of Indonesia in international cooperation through the internationally agreed tax standard in which TIEAs are an important part.

Our country is fresh from its very successful hosting of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information on Tax Matters on May 31 - June 1, 2011. The Bermuda meeting outcomes met objectives and is available on the Global Forum pages within the OECD website. 

As the only small jurisdiction at the Vice Chair level on the Global Forum Steering Group Bermuda speaks to the perspective of small jurisdictions within the Steering Group leadership. We were among the first to volunteer to be peer assessed and our assessment result showed all elements in place, with some recommendations. Following the April 2, 2009 G20 meeting in London, Bermuda was the first jurisdiction to reach 12 signed TIEAs and ascend to the White List.

Such success, clearly reveals to World tax officials that Bermuda has earned its reputation as a blue chip, international, financial center that carries out best practice to deter illegal activity against any country's tax system.

Mr. Ambassador, it is therefore, truly a pleasure today to expand our TIEA network to your region and to continue our working relationship with Indonesia in the Global Forum. 

I am pleased to add this 25th TIEA to Bermuda’s TIEA network. As with the others it includes all standard means to ensure due process is followed in tax information requests to Bermuda, including, for example, and of equal importance to Indonesia, provisions to protect the confidentiality of information provided under the TIEA. The TIEA will also adhere to public policy considerations and provisions related to protecting legal privilege.

Mr. Brad Kading of the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers (ABIR) and  one of our key industry stakeholders supportive of our TIEA programme said of today's signing:

Bermuda’s Takaful legal framework helps insurers work with this market. ”

As we build on the broader relationship established here today, I extend a formal invitation to you Your Excellency Ambassador Thamrin and to the Indonesian Minister or Ministers directly responsible for finance and international business/trade to visit Bermuda and obtain a first-hand perspective of Bermuda’s international financial services infrastructure and regulations, and, off course, to sample Bermudian hospitality as a leading tourism destination.

Your Excellency Ambassador Thamrin and others assembled today, I thank you.