Different players in the financial sector were equipped with knowledge about the investment promotion and facilitation to registered investors in financial sector as provided by the investment code, to further advise new investors on the business environment and legal framework in the country. This was during a workshop that brought together business advisors, tax experts, audit firms, lawyers, and other players in the financial sector. It was organised by the Rwanda Finance Ltd, the entity entrusted to manage the Kigali International Financial Centre ecosystem on Friday, September 23. The new investment code provides for fiscal incentives aimed to respond to the need to develop and expand key financial activities, attract cross-border investments and support priorities identified under National Strategy for Transformation. Rwanda focuses investment incentives in priority sectors including energy, ICT, transport and logistics, improved agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, business process outsourcing, hospitality and finance. Participants in this workshop were enlightened on different tax incentives provided under the law and legal and administrative procedures to be followed for its successful implementation. Emmanuel Habineza, Managing Partner of BDO Rwanda, an international network of practicing firms in audit, tax, and advisory services, told The New Times that it is important for players in the finance sector ecosystem to understand the different incentives available to attract and serve potential investors. “A marketplace is attractive depending on the players involved. So, KIFC is a platform that attracts investors but they need people who can advise and serve them with an understanding that our economic environment is changing very fast which requires compliance to new regulations and international standards.” However, he finds a need for more efforts to make more double taxation avoidance agreements with different countries –both west ones as potential sources of investment and sub-Sahara as potential investment destination, to eliminate taxes levied on income flows arising from business activities in two or more countries. By 2021, Rwanda had signed double tax avoidance treaties with 13 countries around the world and target 40 in 5 years. Angelique Kantengwa, Partner, Corporate Advisory Services, BDO, noted that Rwanda still needs to mark itself as a financial centre and also for local actors in the business ecosystem to showcase excellence in services provided to investors. Despite the challenge of accessing foreign direct investments, she said, “We have seen a steady progress...we see more interest from people coming to the country, but we would like them to come and take the risk of investing into Rwanda and see that investment is profitable.” Nick Barigye, CEO of Rwanda Finance Limited (RFL), told participants that in whatever field each of them identifies in, their work is complementary rather than duplicated, “as much as the institution serves as a platform to consolidate efforts together for investment promotion and facilitation in Rwanda.” The investment law was put in place to create decent and productive jobs, accelerate sustainable urbanisation, and increase industry contribution of financial sectors to GDP, increase domestic savings and position Rwanda as a hub for financial services to promote investments.