Ireland signs tax agreement with Ghana

Bilateral trade amounted to €43m in 2016

Guinness, owned by Diageo, is one of a number of Irish companies with a significant presence in Ghana. Photograph: iStock

The Republic has signed a double taxation agreement with Ghana in a move seen as an important step towards increased trade with West Africa.

The agreement with Ghana was signed Wednesday by Ireland’s Ambassador to the Republic of Ghana, Seán Hoy, and the Ghanaian minister of finance and economic planning, Ken Ofori-Atta.

Commenting on the agreement, Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciarán Cannon, said: “I have just returned from a visit to West Africa and was struck by the huge potential for Irish companies. At a time when our companies are seeking opportunities beyond traditional markets, this Agreement will be key in facilitating trade with Ghana which saw strong real GDP growth of 7.9 per cent in 2017.”

A double taxation agreement means that a person resident in one country with income and gains from another will only have to pay tax to one country. Additionally, the agreement tends to reduce or eliminate source taxes on passive income flows such as dividends from shares or interest which arises in one country and is paid to a resident of the other.


Food and drink

In 2016, bilateral trade between the State and Ghana amounted to €43.4 million, most of which was in the food and beverage sector. Irish companies including ESB International, Guinness and Tullow Oil all have a significant presence in the Ghanaian market and the country is the sixth largest market in Africa for Irish food and drink exports.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade noted that Ghana is an important beef destination outside the EU while it said links in the education and energy sectors were growing.

The double taxation agreement must now be ratified by the Government, although some sections apply immediately and affected citizens can apply for tax credits.

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business