Expedite treaty against double taxation – UAE gov’t tells Ghana

Participants at the forum
  • negotiation of agreement lingering over 5 years
  • UAE targeting Ghana as gateway to invest over US$14bn of FDI in West Africa

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), said it is looking forward to Ghana to expedite processes towards finalizing an agreement that will protect that country against double taxation for UAE investors.

The UAE disclosed that it has been negotiating this agreement with Ghana for more than five years, seeking to protect Emirati businessmen and investors against double taxation in doing business as well as a special protection framework for UAE businesses operating here.

At an UAE-Ghana Trade and Investment Forum held in collaboration with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) in Accra, H.E Abdullah Saleh, Undersecretary, UAE Ministry of Economy, explained to the Goldstreet Business that there was the need to have the two agreements to strengthen UAE’s choice for doing business here, adding, “we anticipate Ghana to speed up processes for the signings.

“We are exporting foreign direct investment (FDI) to other countries. Almost 41 percent per cent of FDIs of South West Asia in 2017 is from UAE with US$14billion coming from Dubai alone. That’s how much we can as well invest in West Africa, with Ghana probably being the largest beneficiary, if the environment favours our investors. We seek to use Ghana as the gateway to enter the West Africa sub-region,” Saleh said.

The UAE, he indicated, has five sovereign wealth funds, with one of such being the third largest wealth fund in the world.

Abdullah Ahmed Al Saleh, Undersecretary to the Minister of Foreign Trade, UAE

Saleh said, those investment capitals are looking for opportunities in international markets though majority are from private companies.

“Our investors always check to ascertain whether the UAE has an agreement with other countries with regard to avoiding double taxation and investment protection treaties. These two agreements when finalized, will encourage more of our investors to choose Ghana,” he maintained.

With several favourable economic indicators, including location, flight connectivity and port connectivity, UAE believes it could provide the linkage for Ghana to reach other international markets.

“We have the experience and knowledge and capability in sectors such as aviation, transportation, logistics, technology, agriculture, mining, renewable energy, export and import, telecommunication, and tourism and hospitality. What’s difficult is for the UAE to decide to invest in high risk small countries,” Saleh averred.

GIPC’s Deputy Director of Investor Services, Evelyn Nyarko, however said, the country, through the Centre has several tax incentives for foreign investors.

“We have locational incentives for companies, particularly in the agricultural sector, the manufacturing sector and others,” she said.

By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe