Rwanda, Congo Brazzaville strengthen trade ties
The local business community is set to seize opportunities in Congo- Brazzaville after the commerce chambers in the two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding to share information and expertise.
The MoU targets to facilitate traders in both countries to access potential investment areas as well useful information for better decision making.
The agreement was signed between Private Sector Federation of Rwanda and Congo Brazzaville Chamber of commerce, Agriculture and Trade.
“As the federation, we will advocate for the market and facilitate them (traders),” said Hannington Namara, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Private Sector Federation.
According to Namara, the move would provide a platform to share information of the existing investment potentials between the two states, targeting agriculture, fuel as well as ICT sectors.
“The MoU creates aback born for fair play,” Namara added.
PSF says that the annual trade missions would be arranged by both countries annually with samples of different products giving traders a chance to showcase what they can offer and explore the available market.
The Chairman of PSF Faustin Mbundu urged the business community to form collective investment groups in a bid to have big volumes and take advantage of the Congo market.
Through collective investments, PSF is in a position to request for technical assistance from IFC or the World Bank to study their business plans and advise on the viability or competitiveness of the project.
“This we have the capacity to do but we have not seen people approach us for such assistance and that is why we encourage the formation of associations,” he said.
The development is a follow up to President Paul Kagame’s visit to Congo Brazzaville last year and the launch of RwandAir’s direct flights to the West African country.
Last year, through PSF, Rwanda Development Board (RDB), RwandAir and Ministry of Trade and Industry, organised an exhibition in Congo Brazzaville.
Josephine Fifi Rurangwa, the RwandAir country manager in the Republic of Congo Brazzaville said there is great business potentialin the central African country urging urged Rwandans to explore the market.
She emphasised on value addition if they are to penetrate the market especially in meat processing and packing as the country usually imports meat products from Brazil for six to eight hours compared to two hours from Kigali.
RwandAir has three weekly flights to Congo, a route that is expected to generate benefits for both countries through interaction of business operators.