THE STAR Busi­ness­week

The Star (St. Lucia) - Business Week - - NEWS - BY CHRIS­TIAN WAYNE – EDI­TOR AT LARGE The STAR Busi­ness­week Noth­ing Per­sonal. It’s Just Busi­ness. Stay con­nected with us at: Web: www.stlu­ci­as­ So­cial: www.face­­ci­as­tar Email: star­busi­ness­week@stlu­ci­as­

It’s been a tu­mul­tuous past few months for the nor­mally docile Caribbean. In Septem­ber the re­gion was cat­a­pulted to the fore­front of the in­ter­na­tional me­dia as some of its small­est na­tions bat­tled against Hur­ri­cane Irma, the costli­est Cat­e­gory 5 hur­ri­cane ever recorded in the At­lantic Ocean. That record, how­ever, was bro­ken just two weeks later by Maria. The sub­se­quent Cat­e­gory 5 hur­ri­cane stormed through the re­gion, leav­ing a dec­i­mated Do­minica and Puerto Rico in its wake. Though the 2017 At­lantic Hur­ri­cane Sea­son may of­fi­cially be over, it ap­pears more dark clouds over the re­gion loom. In what has now been dubbed ‘The Par­adise Papers’, 13.4 mil­lion con­fi­den­tial doc­u­ments re­lated to the off­shore fi­nan­cial af­fairs of the world’s wealth­i­est in­di­vid­u­als and most prof­itable com­pa­nies—from celebri­ties, pro­fes­sional ath­letes and politi­cians to blue-chip cor­po­ra­tions like Ap­ple and Nike—have been leaked to ICIJ jour­nal­ists who, this week, be­gan pub­lish­ing the se­cre­tive tax min­i­miza­tion strate­gies of the world’s rich­est 1%. De­spite be­ing largely in com­pli­ance with OECD Com­mon Re­port­ing Stan­dards, reg­u­la­tors in the US and UK are still out­raged at the un­masked tax ar­bi­trageurs and their per­ni­ciously co­op­er­a­tive tax ju­ris­dic­tions lo­cated pri­mar­ily in the Caribbean. Learn more about The Par­adise Papers from The Fi­nan­cial Times’ Tax Eva­sion & Avoid­ance writ­ers on pages 3 and 7. Ac­cord­ing to World Bank ex­perts, the Caribbean may be hid­ing more wealth than pre­vi­ously es­ti­mated. Where’s that trea­sure hid­den, you ask. Well, you could start with our cover story ‘Ocean Wealth vs Ocean Health: Div­ing into the Blue Econ­omy’ start­ing on page 4. Ad­mit­tedly, it’s been a whirl­wind year in global pol­i­tics with eyes ei­ther glued to the US and Don­ald Trump or the UK and Brexit. But did you know that our Bar­ba­dian neigh­bours are gear­ing up for an elec­tion of their own? Read more on page 2.

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