Mauritius and Ghana have embarked on a new chapter of cooperation with the signing of a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) and the agreed minutes of proceedings following the inaugural meeting of the Mauritius-Ghana Permanent Joint Commission on bilateral cooperation held on 10 March 2017 in Mauritius. The agreements were signed by the Mauritian Prime Minister and the Vice-President of Ghana, His Excellency, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, in the context of the latter’s official visit to Mauritius as Chief Guest on the occasion of the celebrations marking the 49th anniversary of Independence and 25th anniversary of the Republic of Mauritius.
Although the details of the DTAA have yet to be disclosed, its main aim will be to assist in the elimination of double taxation which has been a barrier to economic activities between the two countries as well as the removal of major impediments to bilateral trade and investment. Its objective is also to create a conducive business environment for investors willing to engage in larger cross-border activities. As for the agreed minutes of proceedings of the Mauritius-Ghana Permanent Joint Commission, it represents another milestone into strengthening the relations between Mauritius and Ghana under which several instruments to sustain the economic cooperation between the two countries will be devised.
The first meeting of the Mauritius-Ghana Permanent was held in the perspective of materializing various projects for employment creation and deepening economic relations, with a view to accelerating project implementation between the two countries. In that respect, several topics were discussed, namely:
- Review of the status of the framework agreement signed in 2015 for the setting up of a Technology Park in Dawa, Ghana;
- Accelerating the setting up of the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) project in Ghana as well as a roadmap for project implementation following the incorporation of a special purpose vehicle (SPV), the Ghana Smart City Ltd, in December 2016, with 60% shareholding from Mauritius and 40% from Ghana;
- Proposal by Mauritius to set up a Cyber Tower in Accra which will also accommodate a Centre of Excellence to boost trade and services and the setting up of a solar energy power generation and a tourism and hospitality project for the construction of coastal resort to boost South-South cooperation; and
- Elaboration of instruments under the Mauritius-Ghana Permanent Joint Commission such as an Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement or an SPV to channel investment between the two countries.
On the cooperation front, both parties agreed to collaborate on issues of common interest at regional, continental and international levels in various spheres namely: (i) arts and culture; (ii) gold and jewellery with the setting up of the Mauritius International Derivatives and Commodities Index; and (iii) collaboration between the Utility Regulatory Authorities of both countries.
Other areas of discussion included the setting up of a Joint Trade and Investment Committee, the conclusion of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry and that of Ghana for the setting up a Business Council, the ICT Sector, the handicraft sector and the health sector with the possible recruitment of Mauritian health practitioners in Ghana; and the assistance of Ghana for the setting up of a Slavery Museum in Mauritius.
Mauritius is also supporting Ghana in securing its position as an International Financial Services Centre in West Africa.
Article supplied by Mauritian member firm Erriah Chambers