The Netherlands is to support the large tax payer’s office by strengthening Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority GRA), to increase tax collection and to improve on tax services to the citizens.
Ms Lilianne Ploumen, The Netherlands Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, said her government is working with the customs office to make sure procedures are smoothly processed and increased trade.
The GRA and The Netherlands Tax and Customs Administration (DTVA), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a two-year bilateral cooperation under which The Netherlands would assist the Customs Division to improve its skills in the areas of trade facilitation, risk management and valuation.
Ms Ploumen said this in an interview with Ghana News Agency in Accra where, she led, a 50 –member business delegation to Ghana on the theme: “Growing together.” Ms Ploumen is promoting transition from aid to trade in the bilateral relations. The aid budget of The Netherlands has been refocused on the promotion of the private sector and on an increase of government revenues through taxation.
She said another type of intervention being introduced by the Dutch is the Public-Private Partnership, where they are working with government and other companies like Unilever Ghana Limited and Aqua Vitens Rand Limited, in the areas of water and sanitation.
She said the Dutch entrepreneurs have expertise in life science, health, agriculture, water, sanitation and other sectors. “We encourage our Dutch entrepreneurs to invest in Ghana, since they have a lot of interest in the Ghanaian economy,” she added.
She said the Dutch government would create a fund to be disbursed in loans and guarantees to both Dutch entrepreneurs and their Ghanaian counterparts to promote small medium enterprises. She said trade between the two countries had doubled over the years and expressed the hope that this would continue.
Ms Ploumen commended the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection for their efforts to abolish force child marriages in Ghana. The Netherlands Trade Minister said the two countries need to work together to fight the practice and also to empower women economically to help give girls a voice.