More than 600 investors, policy makers and business leaders from across the region will today converge in Kigali to discuss business linkages and mechanisms on how Rwanda can become a hub for services on the international scene.
The Service Investment Forum (SIF) will be held under the theme, “Rwanda to Africa: Growing Beyond Borders,” and is expected to provide a platform for investors to dialogue with relevant policy makers and political actors regarding specific investment interests.
Gerald Mukubu, the acting chief executive of Private Sector Federation, said the forum is an opportunity to both public and private sector to tap into best practices from the region and beyond to grow their businesses.
The two-day forum will feature plenary discussions, sector specific breakout sessions, exhibition and business to business discussions focusing on priority industries, including, financial, tourism, health care, transport, logistics and retail services.
“Currently, the services sector is the biggest contributor to the country’s GDP; contributing 46 per cent and is targeted to play an even bigger role in propelling Rwanda on its journey to become a middle-income economy by 2020,” Clare Akamanzi, the chief operations officer of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), is quoted as saying in a statement.
It is also going to help create regional and international awareness on how Rwanda is be poised to be a hub for services for the region.
Participants will showcase trade and investment opportunities in the sectors to international investors while discussing policy issues related to the sectors in order to improve the business environment.
Taking advantage of incentives
Akamanzi encouraged investors to take advantage of the incentives in place, adding that, for instance, investors who invest in Kigali are entitled to an investment allowance of 40 per cent of the invested amount in new or used assets while those who invest outside Kigali are entitled to a 50 per cent allowance.
In order to promote and support the development of these industries within the service sector, the RDB is conducting various activities including identifying and developing opportunities for private sector investment in the sector and advocating for policy improvement in the investment climate of this sector.
Rwanda’s long-term development plan, as articulated in Vision 2020, seeks to transform the country into a middle-income nation by the year 2020.
Research and analysis have shown that the development of the service sector as the key pillar of the economy will help achieve the goals of Vision 2020.
Tourism is the current leading industry.