PHOTO: The European Union’s Commissioner for International and Cooperation Development, Neven Mimica in Samoa
By Lagi Keresoma
APIA, SAMOA – THURSDAY 28 FEBRUARY 2019: Samoa is amongst 22 countries on the EU Blacklist as having weak taxation systems, and the visiting EU Commissioner for International and Cooperation Development, Neven Mimica downplayed the blacklist impact on any country.
Mimica told Talamua that the EU is intensifying their contribution to the global fight against the erosion of taxation, and that whatever they do in Europe, the EU members would like to have their partners abroad to be on the same page in that regard.
“This is not an action by EU alone but globally,” said Mimica. “So what we would like to have and see here in Samoa or any other partner country, is to intensify taxation dialogue between the EU and our partners in-order to better understand the background and the reasons in relation to taxation, and in-order to see a realistic time frame or the contents of taxation measures to be taken.”
He emphasized that EU does not see the ‘blacklist’ as some kind of naming or blaming contest but a basis for taxation dialogue to be strengthen amongst partners.
Last week, the Governor of the Central Bank of Samoa, Maiava Atalina Auelua issued a statement saying Samoa being blacklisted was due to “Strategic deficiencies in its Anti-Money Laundering and Counter terrorism financing framework.”
She further stated that the blacklist was not yet official as it had to go through EU protocols for a vote in EU Parliament before it became official.
She further stated that Samoa has always been a willing member in the global fight against money laundering and terrorism financing, including adopting the global standards to combat them.
These include the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), the regional arm of FATF responsible for ensuring compliance by countries in the Asia Pacific region.