Zimbabwean firms have expressed interest in investing in Rwanda’s mining, agriculture, manufacturing and textile sectors. The investors, who are in the country to explore investment opportunities in various sectors, said they were attracted to the country because of its conducive business climate and supportive laws.
Divine Ndhlukula, president of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce and head of delegation, said the investors representing 25 companies were impressed by the immense opportunities Rwanda offers and the country’s business-supportive legal regime.
She added that they would focus on sectors where they have more expertise and comparative advantage, like mining, farming and agribusiness as well as manufacturing. Ndhlukula was speaking during a business-to-business meeting between Private Sector Federation (PSF) members and the Zimbabwe investors in Kigali on Wednesday.
“This interaction gives us an opportunity to learn from each other, network with like-minded businesses and also helps form partnerships that are beneficial to both our countries,” Ndhlukula said.
Rwanda was ranked 41st globally in the 2018 World Bank Doing Business Report released on October 31, up from 56 in 2016. It was second on the continent behind Mauritius.
The country has implemented new reforms, making it easier to do business, especially for small-and-medium enterprises.
Archie Dongo, from National Chamber of Commerce Zimbabwe Harare branch, said cooperation in the areas of investment and trade is essential to support development goals of the two countries. He added that they are ready to work with Rwanda Development Board and PSF to see how they can work with local firms to strengthen relations and spur trade and investment.
Speaking at the event, Benjamin Gasamagera, the PSF chairman, said the forum was, yet another important step in efforts geared at strengthening business relations between business operators from both countries. He added that it will also enhance the current bilateral relations between Rwanda and Zimbabwe.
“Rwanda is ready to welcome you with open arms, and will make sure your businesses and investments are protected to ensure progress and profitability,” he said.
He encouraged them to invest in areas like pharmaceuticals, infrastructure development and ICT, saying they still have a lot of potential and opportunities.
He was optimistic that Rwanda would benefit from the vast expertise and experience Zimbabweans have in agriculture and agro-business if firms from the southern African nation open shop in the country.
Pascal Ndayizeye, CEO and founder of Pascal Technology, a local import firm, said business-to-business forum helped him get key contact persons, adding that it was essential to develop understanding of the Zimbabwe business environment.
Ndayizeye, whose firm has a turnover of $1 billion, has been doing trade with Zimbabwe for 13 years, importing technology equipment.
He urged Rwandan businesses to explore trade opportunities in Zimbabwe.