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CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

In recent times the offshore financial centers1 of the world commonly referred to as “Tax

Havens “ have been under intense scrutiny by several international organizations and

institutions. A substantive element of this attack on these centers is provided in the very

comprehensive OECD2 Report on ‘Harmful Tax Competition An Emerging Global

Issue3.’ The report is the culmination of a series of international tax initiatives by several

states either individually or collectively. One notable example is the 1981 Report

submitted to the Reagan Administration called the Gordon Report. The Gordon report

cited several reasons why it would not be in the best interest of the United States to allow

the proliferation of tax haven jurisdictions. Chief among them was the concern that tax

1 Generally, the financial centers referred to as tax havens include: Cayman, The Bahamas, Luxembourg, Switzerland, British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, Monaco, Mauritius, Cyprus, Anguilla, Aruba, Belize, Cook Islands, Malta, San Marino, Grenada, Gibraltar, Jersey, Nauru, Panama, Turks and Caicos, Antigua, Dominica, Guernsey, Isle of Mann, Liechtenstein, Netherlands Antilles, St. Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles.

2 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development based in Paris, France its membership of 29 nations include: United States, Great Britain, Ireland, Turkey, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Germany, France, Italy, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Greece, Iceland, Austria, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Japan, Finland, New Zealand, Mexico, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and as of the (12th December 1996) Korea. On 28th July 2000 The Council of the OECD agreed to invite the Slovak Republic to accede to the convention.

The Report was approved by the OECD Council of Ministers on 9th April 1998 in accordance with Article 1 of the OECD Convention namely to achieve the highest sustainable economic growth, to contribute to sound economic expansion in Member as well as non-member countries and to contribute to the expansion of world trade. 3

1

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