The Rwandan High Commission in Singapore, on Thursday, held its first business and investment roundtable session aimed at promoting trade and investment opportunities in Rwanda.
The event follows an exploration trade mission to Rwanda in December 2010 by the Singapore Business Federation, who partnered with the High Commission in organizing the roundtable.
“The business roundtable was chaired by the High Commissioner to Singapore, Jeanine Kambanda. It attracted 24 heads of companies in Singapore as well as representatives from the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Singapore and the Singapore Business Federation,” reads a statement from the mission.
The participants represented a wide range of sectors, including financial services, manufacturing, agriculture, construction, ICT, engineering, logistics and mining.
“The Commercial Attaché, Lucas J Murenzi, presented to the audience the current status of the business environment in Rwanda and the various specific achievements in the investment climate, as well as social economic development,” it continues to read.
The participants were provided with general information on current opportunities and priority sectors for investment in the country.
The y were further briefed on the significant progress in the EAC integration process and the available opportunities.
After the presentations, participants were impressed by the status of doing business in Rwanda and the general achievements realised in the area of social economic development.
They noted that most companies in Singapore are not yet active in Africa and Rwanda offers a good point of entry given her macro, social and political stability, as well as the zero tolerance on corruption.
However, they expressed concern on the issue of getting easier flight connections to Rwanda and insufficient access to finance in Rwanda, to which the High Commissioner assured them that the government is aware, and that it is working tirelessly to find appropriate solutions.
Singaporean business interest in Rwanda has been on the rise over the last six months, where at least four Singaporean companies have opened shop while three others in the pipeline.
The number is expected to reach ten by June 2011.
“We are embarking on strategies to promote business match-making between Rwandan and Singapore businesses as well as promote awareness among our business community to look at Singapore as an alternative source of imports and export destinations,” Kambanda said.
Trade between the two countries will be enhanced further once the Double Taxation Avoidance and Investment Protection agreements, being discussed between both countries, come into fruition.