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The offshore world is in a period of transition. There are several core issues that affect all offshore jurisdictions, including initiatives on money laundering, tax avoidance and evasion. In the past couple of years, there have been reports by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU), which are designed to increase transparency and show that suspicious transactions are reported to the appropriate authorities. The impact of e-commerce has yet to be fully realised. The winners and losers may depend upon the type of work, local legislation and the reaction of businesses in each jurisdiction to external pressures. This article will look at the reports, as they have had an enormous impact on offshore centres, and will then look at different types of work to identify any emerging trends. Secrecy was important in these countries, so information available on who is doing what and where was necessarily sparse.

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