Rwanda has intensified efforts to diversify exports and investments in the country by showcasing opportunities in its floriculture sector at a roundtable attended by potential investors and operators in Nairobi, Kenya, yesterday.
Amb George William Kayonga, the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB) chief executive, said government has put in place an attractive package for investors in the floriculture sector and identified potential sites for growing flowers, a statement from the organisers indicate.
“There are already three sites with more than 100 hectares, which companies that are planning expansion can invest in,” Kayonga told the Kenyan floriculture investors.
The roundtable was organised by the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and NAEB with support of World Bank Group’s Rwanda Investment Climate Programme.
Kayonga added that promoting investment opportunities in Rwanda was key in “our country’s development strategy.
“The expansion of Rwanda’s floriculture sector is also an opportunity to market Rwanda as a destination for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country,” he noted.
According to NAEB and RDB officials, Rwanda seeks to transform agriculture through private investment, and has set ambitious investment and export targets for horticulture.
Investors in agriculture can benefit from value added tax refund, duty free on importation of equipment, capital gains tax exemption, and zero tax on corporate income tax for firms planning to relocate to Rwanda, among other incentives.
Speaking at the event, Hamidou Sorgo, the World Bank’s Rwanda Investment Climate Programme, Trade and Competitiveness chief, said the Bank has been working with Rwanda to improve its business environment and its attractiveness to investors in sectors that are instrumental for the country’s development.
“Attracting investors in the floriculture sector will allow Rwanda to position itself and compete favourably in this global value chain”, he added.
High potential sector
Rwanda identified floriculture as a high-potential sector for revenue generation and job-creation in Rwanda’s development strategy.
Therefore, the roundtable offered the opportunity to highlight the potential of the floriculture sector in Rwanda, but also to present the package offered by the government to potential investors. Though it is still young, the sector is attracting interest from investors who are looking at Rwanda as a potential investment hub to export to regional and global markets. Rwanda is banking on its geographical location, as well as natural assets, and its increasingly competitive business environment to attract investment in the sector.
About Rwanda Investment Climate Programme
The Rwanda Investment Climate Programme, funded by UKAid, looks to extend the benefits of regulatory improvements and investment efforts in the country, and supports reforms to improve government service delivery.
It also supports efforts to attract inclusive private sector investment and enhancement the overall competitiveness in agricultural input markets, horticulture and tourism, among others.Follow https://twitter.com/NuwagiraStephen