Isle of Man and Lesotho sign tax agreement

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image captionThe Lesotho Highlands Water Project provides water for South Africa's industrial heartland

The Isle of Man government has signed a tax exchange agreement with the African nation of Lesotho.

The agreement signed in September by the island's Treasury Minister and the Acting High Commissioner of Lesotho in the UK came into force this week.

The deal is part of the Isle of Man government's ongoing programme to develop closer economic and taxation co-operation with other countries.

Water and diamonds are Lesotho's main export earners.

The Kingdom of Lesotho, a landlocked country, is surrounded by South Africa.

Lesotho profile

  • Full name: The Kingdom of Lesotho
  • Population: 2.2 million (UN, 2012)
  • Capital: Maseru
  • Major languages: Sesotho, English
  • Main exports: Water, diamonds, clothing, wool, mohair, food, livestock
  • Life expectancy: 50 years (men), 48 years (women) (UN)

Country profile compiled by BBC Monitoring

It is mostly made up of highlands and many of the villages can only be reached on horseback, by foot or light aircraft.

Lesotho is among the world's poorest countries and has the third highest HIV-Aids rate.

The Isle of Man has signed double taxation deals with ten countries, including Jersey, Singapore and Qatar.

It has also signed a total of 32 tax information and exchange agreements with countries including Sweden, Germany and India.

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