Local firms look to Morocco for new markets and business partnerships

Fifty local private sector members will next month head to Casablanca in Morocco to explore trade and investment opportunities in the north African country.

Geoffrey Kamanzi, the Private Sector Federation (PSF) director for trade facilitation and negotiations, said business leaders from the energy, finance, transport and logistics, information and communication technology, construction and real estate sectors, among others, will make the trip.

He added that local businesses will be looking to strengthen trade between Rwanda and the Kingdom of Morocco.

“The business trip is part of the strategies to boost trade and investment between Rwanda and Morocco,” Kamanzi said in an interview in Kigali last week.

This will be a follow up on the various bilateral trade agreements signed between the two countries last year, he added.

A number of companies from Morocco have expressed interest in investing in Rwanda.

A delegation of more than 100 Moroccan business executives were in the country for the African Business Connect Summit that took place in Kigali at the beginning of this month.

Last year, Rwanda and Morocco signed 23 bilateral agreements to promote trade and cooperation in different sectors.

They later formed a joint council and signed a partnership agreement aimed at strengthening trade between the two countries in the presence of the leaders; President Paul Kagame and King Mohammed VI.

Rwanda-Morocco trade

Business flows between both countries stand at less than one per cent, and analysts say the latest efforts are a ‘step in the right direction’, urging local firms to take advantage of the huge opportunity to increase exports to the kingdom.

Emmanuel Hategeka, the chief operations officer, Rwanda Development Board, recently said the government was creating opportunities for the business community to form strategic partnerships that will help enhance trade and investment.

“A strong foundation that has already been set by the two governments, which we anticipate could result into more trade opportunities for businesses. We will, therefore, continue to identify and remove any barriers to trade as part of efforts geared at helping attract more investors into the country,” he said.

Hategeka added that the objective is to further improve the doing business environment for investors, a move that will also enable businesses to reduce operational costs.