EDITORIAL: Smart ideas will attract more investments

One might find little difference between $2 billion and $2.006 billion but that is a $6 million gap between the two figures.

The Government had targeted to attract $2 billion in investments in 2018 but ended up six million dollars richer.

The investments this year double that of 2016 and the country is setting its sights even higher this year. Unlike in previous years when Foreign Direct Investments dominated, 2018 was largely made up of local investors, a positive indication of a sane and attractive investment climate.

The weaknesses with local investors is that they are still behind when it comes to mergers, each wants to go it alone instead of pooling resources together to have a larger portfolio that can go after bigger projects for the export sector.

As government data shows, most of the investments were in manufacturing, mining, agro-processing and agriculture. The last area is where trends are changing tremendously. Agriculture was mainly geared towards local consumption, but all that now is changing.

At this very moment, President Kagame is on an official visit to Japan and with him is a very large trade delegation from the private sector.

The Japanese have been low-key in Rwanda’s investment landscape; they were more visible in development and educational projects. But that could soon change as local business people pitch their ideas with the hope of striking joint venture deals.

All the business reforms that have been undertaken in the last few years are beginning to bear fruit. That upward trend is bound to continue now that Rwanda Energy Group has announced that new electricity connections to industries will be done at no fee.

That is what is referred to as building a conducive business environment, that is thinking big.