The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN) has allayed worries of Members of Parliament who raised concerns on trade and investment cooperation agreements signed with foreign countries wondering whether it benefits investors without considering Rwanda’s interests.
The worries were allayed yesterday as MINECOFIN presented to parliament a draft law that intends to do away with double taxation.
Rwanda and Morocco signed 22 cooperation agreements when King Mohamed VI visited Rwanda in October 2016.
The agreements include projects of building a pharmaceutical plant in Rwanda, African Institute of Technology, buying 76.1% shares in Cogebanque at USD 41 million and establishing a Mutual Fund worth USD 300 million to be invested in various projects among others.
Some of the clauses in the agreements spell out removing double taxation and barring tax fraud.
Inquiring into how such agreements benefit the country MP Nkusi Juvenal wondered: “It is usual to sign business cooperation agreements between countries with bilateral cooperation. They are not the first agreements to be ratified. How is the situation in countries with which we signed agreements? Do these companies come to operate in Rwanda? Don’t they prefer paying taxes home other than bringing taxes to Rwanda? Don’t they concentrate on their home’s interest and found ourselves supporting them other than benefiting from agreements.”
MP Gatabazi Jean Marie Vianey said “I want the minister to give details on benefits we obtain from signed agreements.”
Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana, the Minister of State in charge of Economic Planning in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN) who represented the government explained that follow up is made to turn agreements into profitable interactions.
“When the government of Rwanda signs such agreements with a foreign country, it targets common interest and particular benefits to tax payers and Rwandans running businesses in the foreign country. Agreements that remove double tax taxation and barring tax fraud help us to promote economic relations with the country we signed agreements,” he said.
“Agreements also bring benefits through information exchange,” he added.