KIGALI - As the country gears up for the 2010 World Bank Doing Business Report, assessment done by RDB and the Commerce Ministry indicates that major reforms done to boost the investment climate have increased investment levels, despite the Global Financial Crisis.
Addressing a Press Conference at MINICOM yesterday, Clare Akamanzi, the RDB Deputy CEO in charge of Business Operations and Services, for the last 6 months, there has been a decline of about 10 percent in the number of investment projects registered but on the other hand there has been an increase in value of investment projects registered by 50 percent.
“We have monitored our economic performance from January to June this year and we have seen that the numbers of projects that are coming into Rwanda in terms of numbers have a slight drop of about 10 percent but in terms of the value of the project, we have seen in fact an increase of over 50 percent of the value of projects registered.” Akamanzi said.
Among others, she cited key international companies that have registered to enter the Rwandan market including telecommunication giants Tigo, the American firm investing in methane gas, Contour Global, and Bakhresa Grain millers.
“These 3 companies have registered with us in the last 6 months and their investments are quite substantial. The numbers have slightly declined compared to the last 6 months of 2008 but there has been substantial increase in the value of projects registered.” Akamanzi added.
She added that they are quite optimistic that as economies slowly recover from the effects of global recession, international companies that had earlier expressed interest to invest in Rwanda but were heavily affected by the crisis will come on board.
A comparative analysis done by RDB by the end of June 2009 shows that 57 projects were registered with an estimated level of investment worth Rwf 368 bn expected to create 7,173 jobs.
Among them, 20 projects are already operational, while 37 are not yet operational. 22 investment projects were Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), representing 38.6 % in numbers while 35 projects are local, representing 61.4%.
“The number of local projects is significantly higher than the number of projects from abroad as seen. However, even though foreign direct investments are fewer in numbers, they have high values.
For example Contour Global alone has registered a methane gas energy project worth USD 300 million.” a report from RDB reads
A close look at the report indicates that the construction and manufacturing industries as well as the hotel industry attracted more investors.
Compared to the same period last year, at the end of June 2008, 63 projects were registered with an estimated level of investment worth Rwf 236bn and expected to create 6,907 jobs, among them, 33 projects were already operational, while 30 were not yet operational at that time.
24 investment projects were FDIs with a total value of Rwf 163bn representing 38% while 39 projects were local with a value of 73bn representing 62%.
The country is targeting a double digit position in 2010 Doing Business Report to be launched by the World Bank on Wednesday.
“We are looking forward to our new ranking. We are sure what we have done in the last 2 years will help us gain ground in the ranking. From there, we can strategise on how to make the investment climate even better.” said Kaliza Karuretwa , the Director General in charge of Investment Climate at MINICOM.
Major reforms in the process of starting a business, dealing with construction licence, registering property, getting credit and protecting investors, among other things, have been implemented to boost the investment climate.