Mr Baah-Wiredu stated that the recent debt relief by the G8, which
Ghana would be a beneficiary, could be predicated as a result of the governance in the country recognised by the donor community. Other factors were improvement in the democratic processes being pursued by the government, adding that, the concept and practice of good governance had become one of the most important beacons within the international community.
The Minister said government's commitment to the process of good governance had been clearly shown by the determination demonstrated by the passing of the Financial Administration Act, 2003 (Act 654), the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) and the Internal Audit Agency Act of 2003 (Act 658). He said efforts were being made to ensure the early implementation of the laws by Ministries, Department and Agencies, as well as the Local Government structures.
Mr Peter Linder, German Ambassador in Ghana, said mobilising domestic revenue was a key element for development and stated that every country had to pursue the effort in the context of regional and global integration. The efforts had led to decreasing customs procedures; the abolition of customs regimes based on good and fair tax laws and a well functioning tax administration. Mr Linder noted that since Ghana was planning to increase its tax-to-Gross Domestic Product ratio from 21 percent to 21.8, improvement in tax administration and efficiency should be a major element in the endeavour, adding that, the Ghana-German Tax Administration project should assist the government's efforts.
The Ghana-German Technical Co-operation Project, which was started in 2004, was collaborating with all the tax agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service, VAT Service, Customs, Excise and Preventive Service and the Revenue Agencies Governing Board in the study of the tax culture and the creation of a working group on Procedural Tax Laws. Mr Linder said the Ghana-German Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to taxes on incomes, capital and capital gains, signed in August 2004 are yet to be ratified by Germany due to its impending general elections in September. He said the agreement would represent a sound basis to enhance private sector activity and business between the two countries and for investors who intend to have ventures in Ghana. The Ambassador pointed out that Ghana still had a long way to go in improving the investment climate but stated that the country was on the right track.