Togo sets new Business Climate Improvement Reforms

Economic governance
Wednesday, 20 March 2019 03:12
Togo sets new Business Climate Improvement Reforms

(Togo First) - Togo’s Business Climate Unit (CCA) met the media on March 15 to present new reforms set up to improve the country’s business environment and give participants tools to better inform the public as well. “This series of reforms requires more commitment from sector players and more media monitoring by you (media professionals) to enable our citizens to benefit from the reforms,” said Sandra Johnson, Minister-Adviser to the President of the Republic, in charge of the business climate, who led the meeting.

Step up efforts to stay on course

This meeting falls within the common dynamic and commitment to stay on track towards creating a business frame suitable for investment for a successful implementation of the National Growth Plan (PND 2018-19), kicked off last year,” said the minister hailing her country’s performance in the 2018 Doing Business. That year, Togo, thanks to various business-friendly reforms initiated by the government, jumped 19 places in the ranking, occupying the 137th place worldwide.

In 2019, Togo aims to be in the Top 100. “Backed by the World Bank, we reviewed the action plan and carried out knowledge-sharing missions to Rwanda to strengthen the monitoring mechanism put in place to date,” explains Sandra Johnson.

According to her, the new reforms mainly cover job creation, ownership transfer, building permits, electricity connections, tax payments, contract performance and indirectly access to credit. Same areas were touched with reforms last year.

Business-facilitating reforms target OTR, CNSS and CEET

According to the presentations of Togo’s Revenue Office -OTR- services, on the transfer of ownership, there has been a merger of formalities and a significant reduction in the cost of land registration and conservation fees. Previously, these costs were calculated based on 4% of the market value of the property but they are now fixed at XOF35,000.

Reforms related to tax payments mainly concern the effectiveness and strengthening of electronic declaration and payment with OTR, as well as the extension of the mechanisms to companies with a turnover ranging between XOF300 million and XOF1 billion. Previously, they only concerned large companies.

Adoyi Assowavana, the Tax Commissioner, said about ten taxes have been removed in the new code, that came into force January 1 this year, in order to loosen pressure on SMEs.

As at February 28, 2019, more than 1,700 companies had used electronic declaration for the nominal remuneration of their employees at the National Social Security Fund (CNSS), it is reported.

On the electricity connection indicator, costs for electricity connection, Medium Voltage (MV), which were reduced by 30% last year, have been further dropped by 50%, the CEET (power utility) delegation announced.

With regard to building permits, as indicated by representatives of the Ministry of Urban Planning, there has been a strengthening of the reform relating to procedural dematerialization, but above all of the regulatory framework of technical check provisions.

Private signing is on the rise in LLCs’ creation

Over the last twelve months, the creation of limited liability companies through a private agreement has been on the rise (from 75 to 85% of total LLC companies). That is more than 2,200 companies set up without notaries out of a total of 2587 LLCs created. The President of the Chamber of Notaries, David Tsolenyanu, who also attended the workshop, acknowledged his cabinet is less and less sought after for business formalization.

Samuel Sanwogou, Director of the Business Formalities Center, announced that business creation is now done in 8 hours and it is even possible to manage a large part of the procedure online by paying via Flooz and T-money.

Facilitating trade conflict settlement and access to credit

Regarding the contract execution indicator, reforms improved the automation of procedures relating to commercial disputes. The online platform now enables attorneys to submit their cases to the court, pay registration fees online, and follow files up.

The online update of the Trade and Personal Property Credit Register (RCCM), under the reform, will help establish a digitalized database at the national level, of 96,614 files, that will provide sufficient information on the state of businesses.

With the Bureau of Credit Information (BIC) database, currently being implemented, the Trade and Personal Property Credit Register RCCM should improve access to credit, in a context where interest rates remain high due to a lack of reliable information on the borrower.

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