Rwanda, Germany seek to strengthen trade relations

German and Rwandan businesspeople are looking to stronger economic and bilateral ties to spur trade and investment between the two countries. This follows a three-day visit by a business delegation from the German Federal State of Rhineland-Palatinate to explore investment opportunities and trade partnerships in Rwanda last week.

German and Rwandan businesspeople are looking to stronger economic and bilateral ties to spur trade and investment between the two countries. This follows a three-day visit by a business delegation from the German Federal State of Rhineland-Palatinate to explore investment opportunities and trade partnerships in Rwanda last week. 

The delegation comprised of potential investors from the agriculture, manufacturing, energy, and the small-and-medium enterprise (SME) sectors. The investors held business-to-business discussions with their Rwandan counterparts, where they shared experiences, knowledge and expertise.

Eveline Lemke, the Rhineland-Palatinate State deputy minister for economic affairs, climate protection and energy, said Rwanda offers excellent business opportunities and investment potential that Germany investors could explore.

“By extending our partnership through exchange of knowledge, expertise and business ideas, we will be able to stimulate economic growth between the two countries,” Lemke said.

She was speaking during a business seminar between the German Federal State of Rhineland-Palatinate and local private sector in Kigali last week.

Dr Richard Auernheimer, the president of Rhineland-Palatinate-Rwanda Trade Relations, said the partnership marks a new beginning that will contribute to the realisation of the country’s Vision 2020 goals. Rhineland-Palatinate is one of the 16 federal states of Germany.

Alex Ruzibukira, the director general for industries and SME development at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, said the partnership will help unlock more business opportunities, which will help boost the country’s export sector. Ruzibukira added that besides, creating more jobs for Rwandans, it will also strengthen the country’s economy.

Rwanda seeks to increase exports volumes by 28 per cent annually to reduce the trade deficit and spur economic growth under the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS II).

“Therefore, trade partnerships such as this one are critical for the realisation of this objective,” Ruzibukira told The New Times.

Gerald Mukubu, the chief advocacy officer at the Private Sector Federation (PSF), said forging partnerships with Germany investors could help boost the capacity of local entrepreneurs. Recently, Rwanda and German signed an agreement geared at strengthening the country’s Technical Education and Vocational Training.

Germany has been supporting Rwanda’s decentralisation process through local infrastructure investments since 2006 and have financed individual projects in education, health, energy, roads, agriculture, and trade worth Rwf79 billion to date.

business@newtimes.co.rw

 

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