Gabon strikes taxation deal with Mauritius By LINLEY BIGNOUX in Port Louis | Wednesday, July 24  2013 at  16:54

Workers work on the construction of a university hospital in Owendo, port of Libreville on October 11, 2012. Gabon aims to become an emerging country by 2025 and has been seeking foreign investment. AFP PHOTO 

Gabon has become the latest African country to sign a double taxation exemption deal with Mauritius, which is often seen as a tax-haven.

The Double Taxation Avoidance (DTA) agreement, signed together with an Investment Promotion and Protection agreement (IPP), will provide more tax incentives for entrepreneurs of both nations.

According to Mauritian Minister of Finance, Xavier-Luc Duval, the two deals are designed to stimulate private commercial and economic relations between the two nations.

Speaking in the capital Port Louis, Minister Duval said they will vastly aid Gabonese and Mauritian entrepreneurs wishing to invest in either country.

All forms of cross-border economic income originating from Mauritius and Gabon will be given preferential taxing concessions, Mr Duval added.

According to Mauritian Ministry of Finance officials, the double taxation agreement also encourages more inter-African trade while offering either lessened tax or exemptions on revenue streaming in and out of both nations.

The IPP is also seen to enhance trade by enhancing commercial opportunities and enlarging the investment climate for commerce.

Fluid asset investment and nationals wishing to move between both countries were also part of the new agreement, clearing pathways for investors to finance potential businesses and transfer their investments and profits to either Mauritius or Gabon.

'Significant'

Kenya, Uganda, Botswana and Madagascar have either bilateral tax or investment agreements with Mauritius, making part of a list of over 17 nations in Africa that have signed treaties with the island nation, according to the Mauritius Board of Investment.\

Mauritian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokespersons told reporters that the Gabonese administration welcomed the agreements as "significant" accomplishments.

The accord is founded on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) trade principle, whereby exchange of information is crucial to breaking down barriers in global trade, financial transparency and facilitating business projects.

Since 1995, Mauritius has committed itself to developing a host of tax treaties with many nations, where historically no taxation arrangements by governments were enforced consequently leading to the levying of doubled up taxes on citizens and private enterprise.

Recent figures indicate that overall trade between the two countries is worth an estimated $18.8 million, according to the Mauritian Central Statistics Office. With the new agreements in place, it is projected these figures may rise.