WEF executive says 2018 meet could pull investors

Last week, Rwanda featured in the weeklong World Economic Forum (WEF) that took place in Davos, Switzerland. The summit saw a convergence of world leaders from diverse backgrounds including political, business, civil society, and academia among others.

Last week, Rwanda featured in the weeklong World Economic Forum (WEF) that took place in Davos, Switzerland.

The summit saw a convergence of world leaders from diverse backgrounds including political, business, civil society, and academia among others.

For Rwanda, participation at the summit achieved a set of goals across different aspects, participants at the summit told The New Times.

Elsie Kanza, a member of Executive Committee of the World Economic Forum, told The New Times that it provided an ideal opportunity to showcase opportunities in the country as well as avenues for partnership.

“The profile of the participants made it an ideal forum to showcase opportunities in respective countries as well as partnerships,” she said.

Among Rwanda’s main showcase at the summit was advancements in drone technology as the first nation globally to adopt performance based regulation approach.

The recently adopted approach opens up the airspace to more operators and applications, thereby spurring business development and social impact.

Kanza said that by showcasing such milestones and development, the country positioned itself as a leader in the technology and its development.

This, she said,, could see Rwanda attract investment and research interest from all across the world having proven its keen interest in the sector.

Other areas that could be of importance for Rwanda from the summit, include access to multiple initiatives launched at the summit most of them in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

The multiple initiatives include centres of excellence, pilot studies as well as continental programmes.

As a regional bloc, Kanza said that East African community is set to maintain growth and investor interest owing to continued integration, ease of doing business and ongoing infrastructure projects.

She said that from a WEF perspective, major international investors are looking for integrated economies which assure them of markets.

Speaking to CNBC Africa in Davos, the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Claver Gatete, said that from his interactions with participants, there is growing interest from foreign business community to work with Rwanda.

Gatete said that most private sector representatives he met were interested in ease of doing business and economic growth numbers.

“The feeling I am getting here from a wide range of people who are here is very exciting for Rwanda, they have been looking at the numbers and aspects such as easing business and making it easy and they are very impressed by our performance and competitiveness in the continent. They are also looking at economic growth, which is looking towards 8 per cent growth,” Gatete said.

He said that continued openness of the country had also caught the attention of the international business community.

“We are looking to remain an open and attractive economy, that is why we have removed the visas for global visitors. Rwanda is open for business in all aspects,” Gatete said.

He said that Rwanda was not afraid of an influx of foreign investors as it would contribute to the much desired openness.

“We are open to work with the rest of the world,” he said.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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