Definition: Offshore enterprise

Balance of payments

In balance of payments accounts, the residency of so called offshore enterprises is attributed to the economies in which they are located without regard to the special treatment they may receive by the local authorities, such as exemptions from taxes, tariffs, or duties. 

This treatment applies to enterprises such as those engaged in the assembly of components manufactured elsewhere and in the processing of re-exported goods, to those engaged in trade and financial operations, and to those located in special zones (e.g. special trade zones, free-trade zones, or tax-havens).
Source:
International Monetray Fund, online "Glossary of Foreign Direct Investment Terms", last consulted 22 February 2013
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