Rwanda-Morocco business council will drive trade between the two countries, says PSF

Last week, Rwandan and Moroccan businesses formed a joint council and signed a partnership agreement in the presence of the leaders of the two countries, President Paul Kagame and King Mohammed VI.
Women sort coffee beans. Rwanda could use the council to find market for its agro-products, among others. (File.)
Women sort coffee beans. Rwanda could use the council to find market for its agro-products, among others. (File.)

Last week, Rwandan and Moroccan businesses formed a joint council and signed a partnership agreement in the presence of the leaders of the two countries, President Paul Kagame and King Mohammed VI.

The newly-formed partnership comes at a time when Morocco is investing in several sectors of the Rwandan economy, including pharmaceutical industry, banking, fertiliser production and insurance, among others.

 

Local business leaders who are party to the agreement told this paper that the business council is a lobby group, which will advocate for better business environments in the two countries to spur investments and trade.

 

Benjamin Gasamagera, the Private Sector Federation (PSF) chairman, told Business Times that the body would represent mutual interests of the businesses from both countries.

 

“The mandate of the council is to implement the agreement, but we will have to first agree on the criteria as the business council,” he said.

As more Moroccan investors venture into the Rwandan market, Gasamagera noted that the Rwandan business community was also looking to pursue opportunities in the North African country

Some members of the Rwandan business community visited Morocco in June, where they interacted with their counterparts and identified areas of interest.

“Rwandan businesses are considering entering the Morocco market; it will be a two-way traffic to create a win-win situation for everyone. There is a lot to offer the Morocco market even though their market is a bit more advanced than ours,” he said in an interview on Friday.

Another major opportunity for local business operators is forming partnership with the Moroccan firms that are investing in Rwanda.

“There are joint venture opportunities in the investments they are making here. The investors will need partners to give the projects a local context and ownership. Generally, the Rwandan business community is excited for such an opportunity as it helps enhance the capacity and competitiveness of those sectors,” Gasamagera said.

Mostafa Terrab, the chief executive of Phosphate Mining Company, one of the firms investing in Rwanda, told Business Times that they were looking to create an ecosystem which would involve members of the local private sector.

Terrab said Rwanda has in previous years exhibited a lot of potential in multiple sectors, making it an ideal destination for foreign investors.

He added that, with Rwanda serving as a hub, the firm is targeting the regional market, which he said also holds enormous potential.

Experts say the establishment of the joint business council will serve to address expeditiously issues that could hold back trade between the two countries.

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