Offshore Financial Centers, Accounting Services, and the Global Economy

Offshore Financial Centers, Accounting Services, and the Global Economy

Offshore Financial Centers, Accounting Services, and the Global Economy

Offshore Financial Centers, Accounting Services, and the Global Economy

Synopsis

The new global climate of free enterprise has brought with it a proliferation of offshore financial centers that presumably have important roles to play in the emergent global economy. The air of secrecy that appears to pervade the activities of offshore financial centers may well slant or obscure any real understanding of the functions of such centers. The authors investigate the role of major international accounting firms and their services in the processes of business facilitation in the locations that host these centers. By focusing the investigation upon the role of the accounting firms in offshore financial centers, the authors gain a better grasp of the real or potential impacts of the firms in the global economy and in the jurisdictions that host them. Not only do the authors provide a detailed assessment of what the major accounting firms are actually doing in the centers, but they point out what attributes are needed by jurisdictions hoping to succeed as offshore financial centers. Thecenters included are Antigua, Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, Gibraltar, Malta, Cyprus, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Mauritius, the Seychelles, Singapore, and Vanuatu.

Excerpt

In the waning years of the twentieth century advances in transportation and communications have supported the emergence of a truly global economy. The scope of that economy has been broadened in theory at least by the demise of the Soviet Union and with it the decline of socialism as a viable alternative on the international scene.

The new global climate of free enterprise has brought with it a proliferation of offshore financial centers that presumably have important roles to play in the emergent global economy. With respect to that global economy the most significant role for the centers in question appears to be the facilitation of international business and finance.

It is their interest in the facilitators of international business that has drawn the authors to the current project. This volume builds upon earlier research regarding the role of major international accounting firms (McKee and Garner, 1992 and 1996; McKee, Garner and AbuAmara McKee, 1998 and 1999). The present intent is to continue the study of the role of major international accounting firms and their services in the processes of business facilitation in the locations that host them and beyond. By focusing the investigation upon the role of the accounting firms in offshore financial centers it is hoped to gain a better grasp of the real or potential impacts of the firms in the global economy and, of course, in the jurisdictions that host them.

The volume is divided into four parts. Part I beyond the current overview provides the general background or foundation for the specifics to follow. In it the positive functions of offshore financial centers are reviewed with special emphasis upon their hosting of international services. Care is taken to point out what attributes are needed by jurisdictions

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