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Taxation Agreement with South Africa signed during visit by Minister of State


Minister of State for Overseas Development, Peter Power TD, today met South Africa’s Minister of Finace, Mr. Pravin Gordhan, 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.

Speaking after the signing of the protocol, Minister Power said:

“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.

“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.”

Today, 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.

The Minister told the guests that the Government supports efforts to promote Irish business interests by helping to provide opportunities for improving business contacts and facilitating business opportunities. He stressed the Government’s commitment to improving economic ties with South Africa. He recognised the impressive strength, resilience and enormous potential of the South African economy as a powerhouse for development in Africa noting that South Africa is a key member of the G20.

“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.


Press Office

17 March 2010


Note for Editors:

  • In 2008, South Africa was Ireland’s 35th largest merchandise trading partner with merchandise trade worth over €407 million. Exports were valued at €286 million; imports at €121 million. In 2008 trade in services was worth €807 million. Exports were valued at €538 million and imports were worth €269 million.
  • Minister of State for Overseas Development, Peter Power is on an official field visit to oversee Irish Aid programmes in Lesotho and South Africa, from March 15 to 19. The Irish Aid programme in South Africa is focused on supporting people living with HIV and AIDS; on improving the delivery of education services and water and sanitation facilities, and on preventing and responding to gender-based violence.
  • Irish Aid is the Government’s programme for overseas development. It is a division of the Department of Foreign Affairs. For more information visit
  • Over the coming days, Minister Power will visit Irish Aid-funded programmes in the Province of Limpopo where Ireland’s programme is focused. He will meet health workers who are caring for people living with HIV and visit organisations that provide water and sanitation services to the rural community with the support of Irish Aid.
  • Since 1994, Ireland’s assistance to South Africa has support for the transition from apartheid to democracy. The Irish Aid programme is designed to contribute to the reduction of poverty and inequality and is primarily focused on the Limpopo Province in the north of the country, one of the poorest regions in South Africa. Total Irish Aid support to South Africa this year will exceed €5 million.

For further information, please contact Fionnuala Quinlan, Press Officer, Irish Aid, the Department of Foreign Affairs on 01-4082653.