By Muhammad Bah
The National Assembly of The Gambia on Tuesday 23 June 2015 ratified two agreements on the avoidance of ‘double taxation’ signed between the Gambia and Turkey on one hand and the Gambia and Qatar on the other.
This was presented by the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Abdou Kolley for consideration and ratification by the National Assembly.
Presenting the loan agreement before parliament, the Finance Minister said the payment of taxes by individuals and cooperation is a key legal obligation in most countries of the world.
“In the discharge of duties, individuals and cooperation face many challenges if they operate and earn income in countries other than their country of origin as they may be required by law to pay tax on the same income in both territories. Such environment may not be conducive to the promotion of foreign direct investment as the cost of doing business becomes onerous,” said Mr. Kolley.
He added that in order to avoid income capital being taxed twice or more and thereby becoming a distinctive to investments, countries do resort to the conclusion of agreements on the avoidance of double taxation with each other
On Turkey, he said the agreement was signed during an official visit there by the President Yahya Jammeh on 11 February 2013. He said this is to boost the trade relations between the two countries.
He recalled that by the end of 2012, the volume of trade between Gambia and Turkey was estimated at USD$36m, with the bulk of Turkish exports to the Gambia being largely dominated by agricultural products.
On Qatar, he said the agreement was signed on 8th March 2012 thus signaling the Gambia’s intent to cement economic ties with Qatar after several trade promotion missions that were undertaken in the country.
Hon Fabakary T. Jatta,Majority Leader and National Assembly Member (NAM) for Serekunda East, seconded the motion. He said the essence of the agreement is to prevent double taxation. He said this is important because the country wish to pull more investor, adding the agreement is favorable to investments from Qatar and Turkey into the Gambia. He urged his colleagues to ratify the agreement indicating it is ‘non-controversial.’