US, Rwanda ratify investment treaty
A US-Rwanda bilateral investment treaty was, Friday, ratified following discussions to increase and diversify trade through exploitation of existing partnerships between the two countries.
The US trade representative, Ambassador Ron Kirk, described it as a major achievement in their trade and investment agenda and the U.S-African economic relationship.
He said the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) stands out as the first treaty of its kind that the United States has concluded with an African country in almost a decade.
Kirk explained that USA’s decision to deepen bilateral relationship with Rwanda by negotiating a bilateral investment treaty was based upon Rwanda’s being depicted as a leader in economic reform.
“We see Rwanda as a leader in seeking to transform its economy through open trade and investment. The Rwandan Government has opened its economy, improved the business climate, and championed free trade both regionally and globally,” he added.
The World Bank recognized Rwanda as the world’s top business climate reformer in 2009 – a first for a sub-Saharan African country – and the second most improved in 2010, according to Ron Kirk.
He stated that the business investment treaty will strengthen economic ties of both countries and enhance the confidence of U.S. investors in Rwanda.
He added that it would also promote the new investment that is critical to Rwanda’s economic development and protect the rights of U.S investors in Rwanda, as well as Rwandan investors in the United States.
“U.S. investors increasingly consider Rwanda as an investment destination and recognize Rwanda’s efforts to become a regional economic hub in East Africa. They are already active in sectors critical to Rwanda’s economic growth and development, including energy, agriculture, tourism, and consumer and small business finance,” he said.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, François Kanimba, noted that the ratification of the treaty symbolizes the strong partnership that the two nations have developed over the years.
“The ratification of the Bilateral Investment Treaty comes at a time of growing international interest in the East African region and the continent at large. As East Africa integrates and businesses grow, Rwanda becomes more strategic as a gateway to the 130 million EAC consumers,” Kanimba said.