ECOWAS member States take stock of Transfer Pricing in the Region
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the World Bank Group are co-host the first Transfer Pricing Regional Meeting for ECOWAS Member States in Abuja, Nigeria under the European funded Improved Business and Investment Climate in West Africa Project.
The project seeks to address a range of investment policy issues that constitute barriers for the private sector to invest efficiently across the region. The transfer pricing component of this project is an example of the World Bank’s initiative to support domestic resource mobilization by helping countries to protect their corporate tax base from profit shifting.
The meeting provides a platform for ECOWAS countries to take stock of the current state of transfer pricing in the region and to determine the direction of further progress. Over 60 participants, including tax administration and tax policy officials from 15 Member States of ECOWAS as well as representatives from the ECOWAS Commission, the European Union, West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), the World Bank Group, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF), and the West African Tax Administration Forum (WATAF), are attending the three-day event.
The ECOWAS Commissioner for Industry and Private Sector Promotion, Kalilou Traore said the Economic Community of West African States is committed to implementing programs that facilitate regional integration and making it work for private sector operators and the people of West Africa, and that it is important to develop internationally shared transfer pricing principles for the region.
The event is an opportunity for ECOWAS countries to share their experiences of introducing and implementing transfer pricing rules. Initiatives will be identified to assist member states to address implementation challenges arising from the scarcity of data, information and limited capacity.
The meeting will aim to determine the future direction of transfer pricing regimes in ECOWAS countries, in light of regional and international initiatives. The member states will explore how they can cooperate to support each other to introduce effective transfer pricing regimes throughout the region.
The transfer pricing program is an element of the Improved Business and Investment Climate in West Africa Project, a four-year initiative that was launched in November 2014. The €7.7 million project, funded by the European Union, seeks to support ECOWAS to improve investment policy in West Africa. The transfer pricing program is implemented by the World Bank Group, in partnership with OECD and ATAF.