KIGALI - Rwanda registered an increase in investment and trade during the first quarter of 2011, putting the country on track to achieve its investment targets and reduce trade deficits.
Rwanda Development Board (RDB) CEO, John Gara, said that there was a 150 percent increase in investment projects compared to the same period, last year.
Exports increased by 130 percent compared to the same period last year, generating an estimated Rwf 41 billion compared to Rwf 18 billion generated last year.
“As far as investment is concerned, by the end of the first quarter, we had recorded 30 investment projects, an increase of about 150 percent compared to the projects we had at the same time last year,” Gara said.
“In the first quarter of last year, we had attracted 20 investment projects. This time around, we have 30 at the end of the quarter. The estimated level of investment from these projects is Rwf 52 billion, equivalent to US$ 87 million,” he added
“The Rwf52bn figure is actually quite lower compared to what we had registered in the first quarter last year, but if you added what we have just realised during the last one month, as of today, we have actually increased very significantly”.
“We have registered about Rwf 117 billion, a lot of that has been reinvested, particularly in the agricultural sector. It also takes into account the investment by Cadila Pharmaceutical, which wasn’t included in the first figure, which is about US$65 million,” Gara said.
Gara said that the projects are expected to create some 1,417 jobs.
He added that their target was to attract about Rwf 550 billion worth of investment projects by the end of the year.
“Looking at where we are now, we are doing quite well and we think we will manage to hit our target,” he said.
Of the 30 investment projects registered, seven are foreign direct investments, five are joint ventures while the other 21 are local investments, representing 70 percent of the total projects registered.
The hospitality sector attracted the most investments this year, worth Rwf 20.3 billion while during the first quarter of 2010, Real Estate and property development was the most significant, recording Rwf 56.7 billion.
According to RDB, despite a growth in exports, there was also an increase in the percentage of imports, which grew by 24 percent.
On ICT, Gara said that there is continued progress in the country’s ICT plan and that the country is now moving from establishing ICT infrastructure to utilising these facilities to provide services.