Finance Minister tour of South America successful
(CS/pley) Luxembourg's Finance Minister Luc Frieden summarised his trip to South America as “exhausting, intense and useful” as he achieved several goals during meetings in Mexico and Brazil.
Luxembourg has been added to Mexico's white list, an issue which Frieden had showed particular interest in. The white list includes countries fulfilling the highest international standards in information exchange, which plays an important role for Mexican fund managers in choosing destination areas.
Minister Frieden had insisted that Luxembourg fulfilled OECD standards on tax transparency, and was able to convince his Mexican colleague José Antonio Meade to add the Grand Duchy to the document retroactively from January 1, 2012.
This date was chosen as it also marks the coming into effect of the Double Taxation Agreement between Luxembourg and Mexico.
On the second leg of the tour, Frieden visited Brazil together with a delegation of finance experts from Luxembourg.
The group was able to ensure that the Banco Itaú would keep part of its activities in Luxembourg, even though they had announced plans to leave the Grand Duchy. The management of the bank assured to the Finance Minister that they intend to develop their fund business from Luxembourg.
However, the private banking branch will be moved to Switzerland as planned. Some 25 employees will remain in Luxembourg. In October 2011 the announcement that the bank would move its activities had caused a stir among its 60 employees.