INVESTORS are upbeat that the government’s decision to waive taxes on investments will attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), aid growth and fast track the county’s economic development agenda.
While touring the construction site of the US$55m five star Marriot Hotel in Kigali, the president and Managing Director of Marriot Lodging International, Ed Fuller, said that Rwanda leads in providing a favourable investment climate in Africa.
“We have been very much impressed by Rwanda’s reception and its willingness to support investments, we have not found challenges like in other countries,” he said, adding that Marriot Hotel Kigali is one of two huge projects in Sub-Saharan Africa with the other in Accra, Ghana.
Hatari Sekoko, the Executive Director Doyelcy Ltd, which hold up to 25 per cent equity stake in the project, said that government waived 15 per cent on the revolving taxes, a five year guarantee on corporate taxes, a flat import duty of 5 per cent and an exemption on Value added Tax (VAT).
“This will attract more investors and create employment to our people because they will be employed in these projects,” he said
Billy Cheung, the Chief Executive Officer of New Century Development Ltd, the developers of the project, said that he was very much challenged by the government’s support, which he said, will help them invest more in the country.
“All government corporate bodies like Rwanda Development Board, Kigali City Council are quick in decision making and they support and encourage you, which makes me think of investing more in this country.”
He said they were weighing up the option of constructing a shopping mall and executive apartments by next year.
Muller is optimistic that the company’s brand and systems will bridge the current hotels shortage and attract more tourists and conferences.
The country’s accommodation shortage currently stands at 1,000 rooms and it will require an investment of almost US$275m in hotel construction to bridge the deficit.
Marriot Hotel Kigali is expected to be completed in December next year. It will have 254 rooms.
The Vice Mayor in Charge of Economic Development in Kigali City, Alphonse Niyizeyimana, said that such projects will help the city to implement its master plan to make Kigali a model city in environmental, social, and economic sustainability.
“We will continue to provide all possible incentives possible to investors to attract more because this is the only way we can move to our vision of a leading middle income country by 2020,” he said.
A porter at the site Claudette Mukeshimana, told Business Times that she is confident that she has benefited in this project.
If such projects increase in the country, she said, employment will be evenly distributed thus helping to fight poverty.