Antigua y Barbuda defiende su relación con China y EEUU lo califica como país de alto riesgo para turistas
Antigua and Barbuda Defends Relationship with China
The Antigua and Barbuda government says China remains an “important development partner” and has condemned “persons who ought to be more responsible” for seeking to spread paranoia with the relationship with Beijing.
“They are an important partner of ours,” Information Minister Melford Nicholas said, insisting that there are people “why are trying to give an impression the sky is falling’.
Nicholas’ statement comes following the arrival last week of more than 150 Chinese nationals on board a chartered flight.
A statement issued after the weekly Cabinet meeting had said that the 56 Chinese, who arrived here on a China Eastern Airways Charter last Wednesday “was a routine rotation of employees of CCECC- the firm which is building the (Chinese) Embassy on Marble Hill, and the Cargo Port at the Deepwater Harbour.”
The statement had noted that “social media became abuzz with speculation and false reports, which the Cabinet feels compelled to address” and noted that Foreign Minister, E.P Chet Greene, had apart from informing Cabinet on the issue, had provided a 15-minute radio interview to clear up the issue.
“The charter, following its discharge of passengers, left Antigua for China with 163 Chinese nationals on board. There was a routine rotation of employees of CCECC—the firm which is building the Embassy on Marble Hill, and the Cargo Port at the Deepwater Harbour.
“CCECC has also been involved in construction projects in Antigua for more than 35 years, including the Creekside Bridge, the Multi-purpose Center, the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, the V.C. Bird Air Terminal, and other construction projects,” the statement said, adding that the Chinese company is also building its Americas and Caribbean Headquarters here “to which several of the arriving workers are assigned”
Nicholas, speaking on a local radio station, said “China remains an important partner to the government and people of Antigua and Barbuda and there is a growing level of paranoia that is being stoked by people who ought to be more responsible and to try to give an impression that the sky is falling.
“We host World Cup 2007 in the Caribbean of which Antigua was very much a part of the proceedings. That brand new stadium was a gift from the Chinese government and there are a legion of projects that have been granted to us and have been supportive of us from the government and people of China.
‘We want people to be mindful and we can go back as far as the 1950s where the Chinese have played a role in the development of many aspects of the Caribbean,” Nicholas said.
The United States has been urging Caribbean countries not to accept gifts from China and on his recent visit to Guyana, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo reiterated the message.
Antigua takes issue with ‘high risk’ categorisation by CDC
Antigua and Barbuda on Monday questioned its categorisation by the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a “Level 3 – High Risk” destination from which travellers arriving in the US would have to go into quarantine.
Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States, Sir Ronald Sanders, in letters to the CDC, the US State Department and the Governor of New York State, Andrew Cuomo, called for an urgent review of the “true and verifiable” conditions in the country regarding its control and prevention of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The diplomat said that the facts would indicate that, at worst, Antigua and Barbuda should be categorised as a “Level 1– Low Risk” destination and more accurately, the Caribbean island “should be on the list of countries requiring, ‘No Travel Health Notice”, since the COVID-19 Risk is very low.
He argued that the country’s performance in preventing and containing the virus “is equal to many of the countries, and better than others, that require no travel health cautions”.
The CDC travel advisory has included Antigua and Barbuda as “high-risk”, along with another 200 countries, including Canada, many throughout Europe, and the Caribbean such as The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, BVI, Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Jamaica, the US Virgin Islands, and Trinidad and Tobago.
“Antigua and Barbuda experienced its first laboratory confirmed case of COVID-19 on March 13, 2020, and since then until today, October 5th 2020, there have been only 3 deaths and 107 confirmed cases”.
Sanders also explained that Antigua and Barbuda has “neither community nor cluster spread, only sporadic cases and its situation is very stable,” adding “these conditions are verifiable by the Pan-American Health Organization”.
In his separate Cuomo, the veteran diplomat said that he was aware that action was taken based on the CDC travel advisory to regard Antigua and Barbuda as a Level 3 country.
But Sanders is calling on the Governor to have his own health officials “review the categorisation of Antigua and Barbuda which is affecting the people of New York State and Antigua and Barbuda’s without genuine cause”.
UE.- La UE mete a Barbados y Anguila en su lista de paraísos fiscales, de la que salen Islas Caimán y Omán
La Unión Europea ha aprobado este martes una nueva actualización de su lista ‘negra’ de paraísos fiscales, en la que han entrado Barbados y Anguila, pero de la que salen Islas Caimán y Omán tras haber aprobado reformas fiscales que “mejoran” sus sistemas tributarios, ha informado el Consejo de la UE en un comunicado.
Barbados y Anguila han sido incluidos en la lista de jurisdicciones no cooperativas en materia fiscal después de que sendos informes negativos del Foro Global sobre Transparencia Intercambio de Información Tributaria.
Por contra, Islas Caimán ha salido de la lista ‘negra’ tras haber adoptado cambios en su marco legislativo sobre fondos de inversión colectiva. A su vez, Omán ha ratificado el Convenio Asistencia Administrativa mutua en Materia Fiscal de la OCDE y ha activado procedimientos de intercambio de información tributaria con los Estados miembro de la UE.
Tras estas decisiones, la lista europea de paraísos fiscales sigue teniendo doce territorios: Samoa Americana, Anguila, Barbados, Fiyi, Guam, Palau, Panamá, Samoa, Seychelles, Trinidad y Tobago, Islas Vírgenes Americanas y Vanuatu.
Con respecto a la lista ‘gris’, en la que se encuentran países y territorios que se han comprometido a mejorar en el corto plazo sus legislaciones tributarias, los gobiernos de la UE han decidido alargar algunas fechas límite para el cumplimiento de dichas promesas a causa de la pandemia de COVID-19.
En todo caso, el bloque ha decidido sacar a Mongolia y Bosnia Herzegovina de esta lista intermedia después de que ambos países hayan comenzado el proceso de ratificación del Convenio Asistencia Administrativa mutua en Materia Fiscal de la OCDE.