Ottawa, Ontario - Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Polish Prime
Minister Donald Tusk today witnessed the signing of a new tax convention
that will reduce tax barriers and encourage increased trade and
investment between the two countries.
“Canada is committed to strengthening its relationship with Poland by
fostering an environment that will encourage growth and long-term
prosperity for both countries,” said Prime Minister Harper. “The new tax
convention is a step in the right direction, as it will help reduce tax
barriers, and support increased bilateral trade and investment.”
The new tax convention will replace the 1987 Tax Convention between
Canada and Poland to better reflect current Canadian and international
tax convention policies. In particular, the new tax convention lowers
the maximum rate of withholding tax imposed on dividends paid between
companies, and on interest payments.
Consistent with the Government of Canada's policy announced in Budget
2007 to combat international tax evasion, the updated tax convention
also includes provisions reflecting the standard developed by the
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for the
effective exchange of tax information.
More specifically, the new tax convention will:
Further reduce tax barriers in order to encourage trade and investment between Canada and Poland;
Lower the maximum rate of withholding tax on dividends paid between
companies from 15% to 5% and on interest payments from 15% to 10%;
Ensure the elimination of double taxation for individuals and companies doing business or earning income in the other country.
Canada currently has tax conventions in force with 89 countries. The
signature of this new tax convention with Poland reflects the efforts of
the Government of Canada to update its tax convention network.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper made the following remarks at a joint
news conference with Donald Tusk, Prime Minister of the Republic of
“Prime Minister Tusk, you were a gracious host during my 2008 trip to
Poland and it is a pleasure to at last be able to return your
“We all recall that a similar visit, scheduled for 2010, was
cancelled following the tragic plane crash that took the lives of
President Kaczynski, his wife Maria and so many others.
“Today we again remember them and renew our expressions of sorrow.
“Today we also reaffirm the deep, historic partnership and friendship between Canada and Poland.
“The free Poland, which has arisen from the ashes of the old
Communist state, is a democracy, a NATO ally, a partner with Canada in
Afghanistan and an important market for Canadian exports.
“And largely due to Prime Minister Tusk’s leadership, Poland is also
the only EU country to have completely avoided a recession following the
2008-2009 global economic and financial crisis.
“There is therefore much that draws us together, including a vibrant Polish diaspora here in Canada of almost a million people.
“And of course, when a Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement between
Canada and the EU is completed, our ties with Poland will be further
“Now of course moments ago, Prime Minister Tusk and I witnessed the
signing of an updated double taxation agreement, to assist companies
doing business in both our countries.
“This completes a project that we began on my visit to Poland.
“Prime Minister Tusk and I have also formally agreed to work together to advance energy security.
“And finally, I am pleased to announce that Canada will make a
donation to support the preservation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial
“Prime Minister, your visit here has been long anticipated.
“And I know that you were well-received yesterday in Wilno, the site
of Canada’s first Polish settlement a hundred and fifty-eight years ago.
“Like you, many Wilno residents are proud to have roots in Kaszuby.
“And Wilno is a living symbol of the generations-old relationship
that connects our two countries, a relationship that we value greatly,
and look forward to strengthening.
“So again, Donald, welcome to Canada.”
The Joint Statement can be found at www.nrcan-rncan.gc.ca.