The purpose of the Industry Fees Working Group (IFWG) is to help promote reductions in unnecessary telecom fees and financial obligations on telecom operators, which may be preventing sustainable investment in infrastructure development. The IFWG is to develop perspectives for regional governments on the needs and the challenges of dealing with financial obligations in the best interest of the market, and to reiterate industry positions on the impact of burdensome financial obligations on the speed of innovation within the ICT industry. The WGIF has agreed on the following activities and outputs:
(1) Activity 1:
A Stocktaking Exercise of different types of taxes, fees and charges imposed along the Digital Value Chain with a focus on network operators generally, and for selected SAMENA countries. To be able to undertake relative comparisons, the Stocktaking Exercise will include some Benchmark Countries where taxes are high and where taxes are low. In addition, data on taxes imposed on other economic sectors should be gathered to undertake a cross-sectoral comparison.
(2) Activity 2:
Identification / calculation of the effective tax burden on network operators and vis-à-vis other Digital Value Chain stakeholders and vis-à-vis other economic sectors, taking into consideration objectives contained in economic and digital development plans / policy.
Development of Recommendations / Key Messages regarding the removal / reduction or expansion of taxes / fees and charges along the Digital Value Chain in selected SAMENA countries.
To become the Council's knowledge-support arm for addressing the issue of industry fees levied on telecom operators, ensuring accordance with messages being developed by likeminded organizations and consistency in advocacy efforts, to support findings of existing tax studies, and also to define how the Council will collaborate with other advocacy bodies, including GSMA.
Open to members from within the SAMENA Council membership and new members can join. Participants should be senior within their organizations, carrying titles of “Head of / Director” at minimum.
Chief Economist and Director of Sector Development
SAMENA Telecommunications Council
The IFWG will utilize existing industry studies and positions to adopt specific positions on industry fees, and develop recommendations. The IFWG has the authority to react to industry developments and regulatory activities on behalf of the membership of SAMENA Council by issuing public statements.
The IFWG will sustain and monitor its own performance, overseeing all activities falling within this specific theme/priority.
The IFWG will assess all issues that fall in the domain of Industry Fees and excessive financial obligations, and issue its recommendations and positions, supporting SAMENA Council's strategic direction and ICT policy development needs, as well as those of likeminded industry associations.
It will achieve this with the internal participation of its members and externally, if and as applicable at its own discretion with other industry entities.
It will report its work directly to the Board of Directors for approvals and final direction.
The IFWG will also issue its recommendations to the CEO in the fulfillment of advocacy priorities relating to its industry fees.
The Board of Directors agreed not to appoint a WG Chairman. Instead, all Working Group Members have same-level standing within the Working Groups. SAMENA Council will coordinate and drive the activities of the Working Group as the Working Group Councilor, who will also be responsible to present to the Board of Directors of SAMENA Council the progress and the outcomes of the Working Group.
The IFWG will conduct its communication activity via live meetings or teleconferencing, with a total of no less than four (4) meetings per year. The proposed meetings will be held quarterly. The schedule of meetings will be closely aligned with SAMENA and other key events to provide the opportunity to pick up on issues and outcomes of these events.
|Kick-off Meeting||2nd Meeting||3rd Meeting||4th Meeting|
|April 2018||June 2018||September 2018||December 2018|
• Review of data and complementing data received from operators: data that has been submitted by operators is currently reviewed and complemented to construct a complete view of the respective markets - throughout the summer (July-September 2018)
• Additional data collection from TRA’s websites and other sources (ITU): this will enable the depiction of the entire market - throughout the summer (July-September 2018)
• Calculations: depending on the availability of data, we will commence calculations with the most complete country in terms of data - starting in September 2018
• Next conference call: calls will be scheduled with individual WG members from the different countries. An update email will be send to the group before the summer.