KUALA LUMPUR - The Prime Minister Bernard Makuza has called upon Asian investors to explore the massive opportunities in Africa.
Makuza made the call while addressing the Global Business Leaders Forum (GBLF) that is taking place in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.
The GBLF is a forum for high level networking between Commonwealth and international leaders from government and business. The specific aim of the forum is to track leading edge thinking on new business models and trends in global markets, and to provide a high level platform for business-to-business networking.
“As the newest member of the Commonwealth, we hope to engage you on the opportunities Asian companies should increasingly explore across the Commonwealth and particularly in Africa, and especially in Rwanda,” Makuza said.
The Prime Minister noted that the gathering is a unique opportunity for the Commonwealth and Asia to exchange views on how to strengthen ties, to the mutual benefit of their members in an economic climate that requires each one of them to seek new and innovative ventures in business.
Concerning the private sector, Makuza praised Asians for what they have achieved and said that over the past 30 years or so, Asia has proved to be in a class of its own.
“Your business people and companies are truly world leaders in science innovation, technology and services and the continent of African and my country, Rwanda, have a lot to learn from you,” he remarked.
He highlighted the fact that though there are a vast number of worthwhile investment opportunities in the emerging markets in the Commonwealth, the most interesting is the “frontier” market of Africa.
“Most African countries have provided the conditions under which trade and investment are replacing development assistance as the main source of capital formation,” Makuza noted.
He gave Rwanda’s progress on the world’s Doing Business rankings, and it being one of the countries with the lowest levels of corruption, as rated by Transparency International, as one example among the many.
In his speech, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri NajibRazak, who was the Chief Guest, also underscored the importance of the Commonwealth, and particularly those in the south, to cooperate in trade and investment in order to create more relevance of the Commonwealth to the ordinary business person.
The Managing Director of the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC) Gregor Mackinnon, thanked the Malaysian and Rwandan Governments for supporting the forum by hosting it and honouring it with their presence respectively.
The Prime Minister and his delegation also held several side meetings with business leaders with the objective of interesting them to invest in Rwanda.
Makuza also held a bilateral meeting with his Malaysian counterpart and discussed how they can scale up cooperation. The Malaysian Prime Minister expressed commitment in developing further cooperation between the two countries.
The forum brought together over 300 leaders from emerging and developed markets to discuss the new competitive challenges that are facing companies in the current era of globalization.