Sierra Leone provides tax incentives for investors in every sector of the economy from agriculture to tourism, Director of Tax and Revenue Policy Idrissa Kanu in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development said on March 1.

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Many of these incentives are in the Finance Act of 2011, he stressed during a business forum at the Bintumani Hotel. Some are general and some are specific to the various sectors. There are incentives for income tax exemption, income tax deductions, GST etc.

“For new business, if your plan shows that you are making an investment of $10m and for existing business you want to make an expansion of up to $5m, we allow you to bring all your machinery, equipment, plant for that expansion without payment of any tax,” he said.

“We have created a guide that we normally give out to investors to showcase the incentives that are available to investors for the various sectors,” he said.

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“This handout was developed by institutions including the Ministry of Agriculture, the National Revenue Authority (NRA), the Sierra Leone Import and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA), Trade, Tourism and Culture, and the Ministry of Mines.”

Private sector is the engine for growth. They provide the block of employment; Government can only provide the enabling environment, Mr. Kanu said.

For those doing rice farming, for every import they are not charged Goods and Services Tax (GST), they are not charged custom duty even for their equipment and machinery. The same applies for those in poultry, he said.