Wednesday, 26 January 2011
Finance Bill 2011: Committee Stage
Martin Mansergh (Minister of State with special responsibility for the Arts, Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism; Minister of State with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works, Department of Finance; Tipperary South, Fianna Fail)
The principal one with which we are working at the moment is Brazil, which is a very large economy. The Deputy will have heard of the phrase, the BRIC countries, which are major countries in the developing world. He can do the arithmetic for himself; if we have approximately 70 double taxation agreements and there are more than 200 countries in the world, we have some way to go. We prioritise those with which we have either trading or commercial relations. This is an area that has been expanding very rapidly. While I do not know if it is true today, it was certainly true four or five years ago that with the exception of Singapore, Ireland is practically the most globalised economy in the world and so obviously we need these agreements because we are trading with many different countries. The negotiations with Brazil are slow, but we are continuing to negotiate. We are also negotiating with Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the Philippines.