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Tax in Developing Countries

27 February 2012

The International Development Committee has begun an inquiry into tax in developing countries, with evidence sessions beginning this week.

Development in Africa matters greatly to SABMiller and we believe that the private sector has a significant role to play. Therefore we support measures which seek to improve the environment for businesses both big and small in Africa, allowing them to flourish, generating jobs and local growth.

We are committed to operating in a responsible and accountable manner and, providing companies do this, there is no contradiction between what is good for business and good for development. We contribute to economies both locally and globally, through direct employment, the economic multipliers of our supply chains and our contribution to government finances through taxation.

SABMiller is proud to have grown from African origins to become one of the world's largest brewers. We are clear that our business is not something separate from society. It is, at one and the same time, an employer, a customer, a supplier and a taxpayer. The interests of SABMiller, its shareholders and the wider community are therefore inextricably linked.

Across sub-Saharan Africa, SABMiller directly employs 13,500 people. And research by Professor Ethan Kapstein from INSEAD business school has shown that these support another 766,000 jobs throughout the region. Every single job at SABMiller thus relates to 56 jobs in the broader economy.

We are a substantial taxpayer. On a group basis (and including our JVs) we contributed approximately US$8.4bn in taxes in the 12 months to 31 March 2011. Across Africa our total tax contribution in 2011 (excluding South Africa) was approximately US$600m, of which approximately US$100m was borne directly by the company and the remainder was collected in employee, excise and other taxes.  In South Africa, our total tax contribution was over US$1.5bn in 2011.

We believe the private sector has a significant role to play in development and welcome any initiative which seeks to understand how government, business and other organisations can work together effectively to understand and optimise the jobs created, investments made and the resulting economic growth and development.

You can read our written submission to the inquiry here.

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