Seychelles bar association signs agreement with Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone
Derjacques and Fort signing the MoU at Sunset Beach Hotel, Seychelles (Seychelles Nation)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The Bar Association of Seychelles (BAS) is working to improve links with the international financial services sector in the Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone in the United Arab Emirates.
BAS president, Anthony Derjacques, and the chief executive officer of the Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone, Peter Fort signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) this week at the Sunset Beach Hotel in Glacis, the northern district of the Seychelles' main island of Mahé, this week.
“Corporate service providers and attorneys provide a variety of different tools and solution for their clients,” said Fort after the signing. “With this agreement they will be able to provide a more complex and profitable solution for their clients.”
Since the Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone was established in the year 2000, it has attracted more than 7,000 business enterprises from over 160 countries across the globe. It seeks to further maximise the growth of innovative businesses in the Persian Gulf sheikhdom of Ras Al Khaimah and help its enterprises internationalise via a unique global office network.
The agreement will allow attorneys in Seychelles to have contact with firms operating within the Free Trade Zone, which is one of the fastest-growing free trade zones in the United Arab Emirates, but also within the UAE and in the Arab world in general, according to Derjacques.
“This understanding allows us to explore areas of mutual interests not only to the lawyers but to the clientele of the lawyers,” he said.
Seychelles' offshore financial services sector has grown over the years, from 650 International Business Companies in 1996 to 140,000 presently. There are also about 1,000 registered trusts and over 300 foundations.
In November 2013 the Seychelles National Assembly approved amendments to some sections of the 1994 International Business Companies Act and the inclusion of a new section to ensure that the law and offshore sector are in line with international standards and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) recommendations.
The OECD in 2013 categorised the Seychelles jurisdiction as "non-compliant" in terms of tax transparency rules, along with Switzerland and Cyprus. Seychelles defended its reputation, saying it was committed to implementing internationally agreed tax standards but that delays were experienced in introducing new legislation following two elections.