DR Congo’s trade minister assures Rwandans of market

The Congolese Minister for External Trade Matuku (2nd-L) inspecting juices and wine that are manufactured at Urwibutso Enterprise. He called on producers to export products to DR Congo. Régis Umurengezi.

THE Congolese Minister for External Trade, Lambert Matuku Memas, on Monday evening toured Northern Province where he was briefed on various economic activities that can benefit citizens of both countries.

The minister was in Rwanda for a working visit to witness how rural residents put into practice various policies meant to boost trade activities.

As part of his visit to the province, regarded as the country’s food basket, he toured different development activities in Rulindo District, including businesses owned by individuals who promote the Made-in-Rwanda initiative, through agro-processing.

The minister observed how juice, wine and biscuits, among other products, are made out of farm produce mainly, passion fruit, at Urwibutso Entreprise owned by Sina Gerard.

He also heard from some businesses from the district on how the Government provides them incentives when starting their business through tax holidays and finding them markets abroad.

Matuku reiterated his government’s commitment to strengthening ties with Rwanda, particularly through boosting trade between the two countries.

He particularly requested that products from Urwibutso Enterprise and other locally made products, including foodstuff, should be regularly exported to Kinshasa.

Speaking toThe New Times, the Governor of Northern Province, Jean Marie Vianney Gatabazi, who accompanied the visiting minister, said the province was ready to take advantage of the DR Congo market.

“We have a new cement plant which will be functional by September that will be supplying high quality cement to Goma and in other parts of Eastern DR Congo. We also have Burera garment factory, which is set to export high quality clothes,” he said

“The message to residents of Northern Province is that market for products is guaranteed. Farmers should strive to maximise production as there is a huge market that awaits them,” he said.

“The same message goes to these processing plants and individuals; you should all embrace regional integration as it is the backbone of progress that we want”.

Matuku also toured Inyange School in Rulindo where he was impressed with the inclusive education that the school offers.

He told hundreds of students and teachers at the school that, “You are lucky to have a facility like this one as you can’t easily find it elsewhere,”