Page last updated at 20:31 GMT, Thursday, 26 March 2009

France signs island tax agreement

French minister Eric Woerth and Allan Bell
The signing took place in Douglas

The Isle of Man has signed a tax agreement with France.

France's budget minister Eric Woerth signed the tax information exchange agreement (TIEA) at a ceremony in government offices at Douglas.

It is the 14th tax agreement the island has signed and is part of ministers' attempts to improve transparency.

The signing was held ahead of the G20 summit in London next week when measures to crack down on tax havens will be on the agenda.

Last year, UK chancellor Alistair Darling drew criticism from Manx officials when he described the Isle of Man as a "tax haven".

TIEAs deliver the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) agreed international standard on tax transparency, the government said.

Treasury Minister Allan Bell said the agreement with France was a "significant milestone in our ongoing commitment to international tax co-operation".

The island's first TIEA was signed with the USA in 2002 and officials are in discussions with several other countries, Mr Bell added.

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