By Ray Chickrie
Caribbean News Now contributor
PARAMARIBO, Suriname — Suriname’s finance minister, Gillmore Hoefdraad, and his United Arab Emirates (UAE) counterpart, Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, minister of state for financial affairs, have signed an investment promotion and protection agreement (IPPA) and an agreement to prevent double taxation and evasion. By signing these agreements, both countries expressed the wish to further develop their economic ties, the Suriname News Agency reported on Sunday.
The government of Suriname said that the agreements signed on Sunday are part of Suriname’s ambition to broaden and diversify its economy, to attract foreign investment and to promote trade relations.
These agreements in particular allow for the legal protection and free movement of capital. An IPPA agreement is an excellent means of encouraging investment between partner countries. Unnecessary tax costs are often an important obstacle to the growth of cross-border trade and investment.
The policy is therefore aimed at removing tax treaties to remove barriers in the field of taxation for cross-border trade and investment. These conventions must also ensure that tax obligations are properly complied with, the release said.
According to the press statement, Suriname intends to conclude more IPPAs and tax treaties with more eligible countries. Ultimately, these agreements must have the desired (macro) economic effect in practice. All efforts will be committed to this end in cooperation with the business community.
Both agreements with the UAE will have to be presented to the National Assembly of Suriname for ratification.
Suriname has only two such treaties, one with the Netherlands, which dates back to 1975, and a second, signed in 2003 with Indonesia. However, neither has been instrumental in attracting investors.
Suriname plans to look at how these treaties with the Netherlands and Indonesia can be effectively used to attract investment. Furthermore, Suriname plans to pursue a more aggressive policy with regard to IPPAs and tax agreements with several neighbouring countries.
The UAE is one of Suriname’s biggest trading partners. In 2011, the UAE’s Dubai Port (DP) acquired two ports in Suriname and, in 2015, Dubai’s Kaloti Group opened a modern gold refinery in Suriname.
Hoefdraad is looking to bring more Emirati investments to Suriname.