Nigeria, Singapore agree to protect investors from double taxation
The Nigerian and Singaporean governments have agreed to protect their respective investors from double taxation.
As a result of this agreement, the volume of trade between both countries from 2011 to 2015 which stands at N 846 billion is expected to increase significantly.
The agreement was sealed in Abuja Wednesday evening at the Ministry of Finance and it was witnessed by top officials of both countries.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, in her comments said the pact between Nigeria and Singapore has clearly spelt out taxing rights of each country in respect of different income derived from each country.
The agreement according to Adeosun “will assist prospective investors know their income tax obligation in the other country as well as available tax incentives; and spells out clearly tax jurisdiction of each country in respect of all possible areas of business activities which give rise to taxation.”
Adeosun stated that the negotiation of the avoidance of double taxation agreement between both countries was held in Singapore from 28th to 30th October 2013 and was concluded in October 2014, after all outstanding issues had been resolved.
The Federal Executive Council at its meeting of November 16, 2016, approved the content of the agreement and authorized Adeosun to sign the agreement on behalf of Nigeria, following the resolution of all outstanding issues.
Singapore was identified as a suitable tax treaty partner for Nigeria because it is currently one of the fastest growing economies in the world with a highly developed and successful free-market economy.
The volume of trade between the two countries from 2011 to 2015 stands at N846 billion, the absolute Balance of Trade was N222 billion in favour of Nigeria while Balance of Trade net of petroleum export stood at N42 billion in favour of Singapore. In terms of the volume of Foreign Direct Investment from Singapore to Nigeria, Adeosun said between 2010 and March 2015 the figure stood at $908.8 million.
Some of the areas of economic cooperation between Nigeria and Singapore are consumer electronics, information technology products, pharmaceuticals and medical technology products, and financial services, among others.
Adeosun signed the agreement on behalf of the Federal Government, while Singapore’s Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Dr Koh Poh Koon signed for his country.
In his comments at the event, the Singaporean trade minister said that “the agreement would send a strong signal to investors from both countries about the commitments of the two countries to stimulate investments.”
He prayed “that both governments will happily ratify both agreement so that it sends a strong signal to business communities from both sides that both our governments are committed to ease of doing business. This will enable companies to be able to look at investments from both sides with seriousness.”
Adeosun said “this treaty with Singapore is important because it is consistent with Nigeria’s on-going efforts to expand its treaty network.”
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