KIGALI - The visiting Singaporean Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Zainul Abidin Rasheed, yesterday, said that his country sees Rwanda as country with a lot of potential and commitment to develop and pledged closer cooperation between the two countries.
Speaking to the press shortly after paying a courtesy call on President Paul Kagame at State House in Kiyovu, Rasheed, who was leading a 17-man delegation from Singapore, said that Rwanda has shown determination to move forward and Singapore has keen interest in supporting her ambitions.
“I simply see a lot in Rwanda, commitment at the government level between Singapore and Rwanda. There is also determination and in fact we feel a lot more confident to move forward,”
“We see infrastructure development that will help development progress and we see a lot of reduction in red tape. We also see a lot that is coming up about Rwanda in the context of the East African Community,” he said.
The Singaporean Minister who was leading a group of investors, who were in the country to assess available investment opportunities, said that his government will continue cooperating with Rwanda to achieve sustainable economic growth.
“We would like to see beyond government cooperation, cooperation between the private sectors of our countries and encourage investment. We also see the need for connectivity between our people and the Rwandan people and all Asians,” said Rasheed, shortly before departing.
According to John Gara, the CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), the Singaporean investors have already expressed interest in starting businesses in Rwanda after exploring the opportunities available and that two companies have already registered with RDB.
“They came actually for three things; exploring the opportunities in Rwanda, see whether they could enter into any specific contractual business relationship with our own investors and also see how they can strengthen relations between their private sector and ours,” Gara said.
“The visit was extremely successful in the sense that a number of them established companies in Rwanda. They were very impressed that it took them about two hours to start a company and that’s something that encouraged them to look into more opportunities,” he added.
The two companies that registered are a consumer goods distribution company, and cement producing company. The group visited a number of projects of interest in cement production, manufacturing, textiles, agro-processing, and energy generation, particularly methane gas.
According to Gara, members of the Rwandan Private Sector will also make a trip to Singapore as part of the cooperation arrangement.
The visit was organised by Rwanda’s High Commission to Singapore.