The National Bank of Rwanda has launched a foreign investment survey that will help policymakers to formulate appropriate medium and long term macroeconomic policies.
The foreign private report captured the year 2008 and 2009 as questionnaires were distributed among 152 companies across the country.
Vice Governor of the National Bank of Rwanda, Monique Nsanzabaganwa, who launched the survey, said the survey would help public and private investors to measure their impact on economic development.
The report also aims at informing investors on existing opportunities and highlights the development of the industry.
“The activity of capturing data on foreign private investments is essential to ccomply with international standards in data availability requirements,” Nsanzabaganwa said.
She added; “For so many times, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund have failed to get data on Rwanda for international economies comparability.”
Among 152 companies with questionnaires, 128 have responded, 24 companies have not responded. Out of the 152 firms, 86 have foreign liabilities, six reported to have assets abroad while 42 do not conduct any foreign transactions.
Companies’ surveyed on average employ 94.5 per cent Rwandans while 5.5 per cent foreigners.
Investor’s expressed their appreciation on the business environment, political and economic stability and anticorruption measures.
However, they are concerned of competition from informal trade and imports, inflation, high interest rates, small domestic market and high cost of electricity.
The survey was conducted in collaboration Rwanda Development Board, National Institute of Statistics and the Macroeconomic and Financial Management Institute of Eastern and Southern Africa (MEFMI).
Jean Baptiste Havugimana, a Program officer at MEFMI said the survey is crucial in terms of attracting investors.
“The study puts an end to the error of economics guesswork but evidence based decisions,” he said. MEFMI trained data collectorsand provided them with software for use in the process.
Vivian Mwitirehe, the Director of Statistics at the National Bank of Rwanda said government lacked data on assets abroad.
“In our Balance of Payment, we are supposed to capture foreign direct investments and offshore investments where we had only estimate figures,” she noted.
The survey indicates that private sector investments in Rwanda continue to grow with increase in stock of foreign liabilities and present positive developments responding to efforts made by the government to improve business environment.
The survey will be conducted annually with all involved partners required to work closely to provide required information for relevance, accuracy and usefulness of the output. This year’s survey is expected to kick off early next week.