The Chinese government has given a grant of approximately $4.4 million to Rwanda and even pledged to encourage more Chinese businesses and businessmen to invest in the country.
This was announced on Monday during the signing of the agreement on economic and technical cooperation between the two governments at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINAFFET).
According to the pact, the grant will finance projects yet to be agreed upon by the two governments.
Zhai Jun, the Chinese vice Foreign Minister in charge of African Affairs who arrived Monday for a three-day visit signed the pact with Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Louise Mushikiwabo.
“The agreement we have just signed is attached to the Chinese saying that it is better to teach someone how to fish than to give one fish and, China will continue to provide help within the realm of our capabilities in Rwanda’s economic and social development,” Jun said.
“Moreover, we will encourage more Chinese businesses and businessmen to invest and seek business opportunities and set up factories in Rwanda to take part in the economic development in your country,” he added.
Currently Chinese technical support to Rwanda focuses on trade, tourism and the agricultural and infrastructural sectors.
Various cooperation projects have been accomplished including support to rice growers in Eastern Province, bamboo and mushroom cultivation and agricultural research center at the ISAR institute.
In the trade and tourism sector, the Chinese government previously granted Rwanda zero-tariff treatment known as “Special Preferential Tariff Treatment” for over 440 number of export items many of which are primary raw materials.
Availed documents also show that Rwanda was also recently granted the “Approved Destination Status” which gives a green light and encouragement to Chinese people to visit Rwanda as tourists.
The Chinese diplomat further stressed that, “China will also increase the number of scholarships and the participants of personnel training projects for Rwanda.”
In addition, the visiting Chinese vice Foreign Minister noted that China would contribute to Rwanda’s economic progress “within the framework of the new aid point measure of” the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
Rwanda and China have signed several bilateral cooperation pacts in the past and are working to strengthen their bilateral relations.
During a two-day bilateral summit held in Beijing late last year, China gave Rwanda interest-free loans amounting to $37 million, most of which were meant to fund the Kigali road network rehabilitation project.