PERTH – Speaking during the conclusion of the Commonwealth Business Forum in Perth, Australia, yesterday, President Paul Kagame said that the goals of business and governments are increasingly becoming inseparable and that only business, trade and private sector investment have the potential to improve lives and create prosperity for all. He encouraged government leaders to let business leaders take a more central role in enhancing the public- private partnerships model.
“I sometimes reckon that we, political leaders, should take a back seat and allow business leaders to be the drivers of innovation, entrepreneurship and wealth creation. Governments’ focus should largely be to carry out necessary investment, business and trade-related reforms and generally create an environment that allows businesses to flourish,” he said.
President Kagame pointed out that aid alone cannot effectively deliver better standards of living to the citizens of the developing world, particularly when economic conditions in donor countries inevitably affect aid levels, and called for stronger multi-lateral business partnerships.
“We need to tap into the spirit of business enterprise and innovation that are so ubiquitous here, and harness the potential market of an estimated 1.2 billion people. We must optimize the opportunities that come with the diversity of the Commonwealth countries and fully leverage it to the benefit of our citizens.”
The Head of State paid tribute to Dr. Mohan Kaul, Director General and CEO of the Commonwealth Business Forum, who he had contributed significantly over the years to make the Business Forum a real driver of trade and investment in the Commonwealth.
Along with Australian Prime Minister Julian Gillard, the incoming chair of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), and Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar of Trinidad and Tobago, out-going chair, President Kagame will, on Friday, address the opening of the 2011 CHOGM, where Rwanda will officially be welcomed as the newest member.