19/03/2010

South African Focus For Minister

A high level meeting has been held with South Africa's Minister of Finance.

Pravin Gordhan met the Irish Minister of State for Overseas Development, Peter Power in Cape Town for discussions on economic and development issues and for the signing of a Protocol to the Irish-South Africa Double Taxation Agreement which will improve the conditions for trade between Ireland and South Africa.

Minister Power emphasised the importance for the two countries of this protocol which will further strengthen the bilateral relations between Ireland the Republic of South Africa.

"Taxation treaties have a range of benefits for Irish companies who want to do business overseas. The agreements reduce the possibility of taxation being levied twice and encourage cross-border trade efficiency.

"The treaties also assist in the elimination of tax evasion and improve certainty for taxpayers and tax authorities in their international dealings.

"The protocol signed today updates our existing tax treaty with South Africa. It increases certainty and improves the trade environment for Irish businesses selling products or services to South Africa.

"The Government is committed to doing everything possible to assist Irish businesses working in markets around the world, including South Africa," he said.

"Ireland has a wide network of comprehensive double taxation agreements. The agreements cover direct taxes, which in the case of Ireland are income tax, corporation tax and capital gains tax.

"We are always seeking to increase our network of taxation treaties and update the existing treaties to take account of developments in international trade and taxation," he said.

Meanwhile, it has also emerged that Minister Power also addressed a St. Patrick's Day Reception in the Embassy of Ireland in Cape Town, where Irish food was showcased with the support of An Bord Bia and the Irish Dairy Board.

At the reception Minister Power spoke of the prospects for the Irish economy in light of the tough decisions taken by the Government to deal with the effects of the global and financial crisis.

The Minister met with South African and local Irish business leaders and warmly praised the moves to establish an Irish business association in Cape Town inspired by the success of the Global Irish Forum held in Farmleigh in September, 2009.

"For Ireland, South Africa is a key entry point for our trade with the rest of Africa. The Embassy of Ireland will continue to work closely with Enterprise Ireland and with Irish companies who are exploring potential contracts and export opportunities in South Africa," he said.

(BMcC/GK)

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