•Says it’s a launch pad for new markets •P. Sector lauds Kagame EAC chairmanship
President Paul Kagame yesterday evening officiated at the opening ceremony of the 11th edition of the Rwanda International Trade Fair 2008, a colourful function that took place at the Expo grounds in Gikondo.
During the function, the President urged the Rwandan Private Sector to use this opportunity as a launch pad towards expanding their businesses through establishing contacts with their international counterparts.
“Through this trade fair, local enterprises should make new contacts and forge partnerships with the international exhibitors present in this fair,” said Kagame.
According to Emmanuel Hategeka, the Secretary General of the Private Sector (PSF ), the expo has attracted 93 international exhibitors from nine different countries.
The president said that the persistent success of this trade fair reflects to the growing private sector which he said was a core pillar to Rwanda’s development agenda. He called upon local businessmen to be more entrepreneurial especially by fostering partnerships.
“This provides a wider scope of business which also increases the profitability of a company. Family-based and individual businesses fetch less profit,” urged the Head of State.
He however said that the policymakers should also play their role in continuing to provide an environment conducive for businesses to grow.
“There should always be interplay between government and the private sector and a clear link between business and policy should exist,” he added.
He reiterated the need by all parties to create a sense of urgency for dedication towards hard work with the aim of solving the country’s problems.
On policy, the Trade and Commerce minister Monique Nsanzabaganwa said that various policies are in the offing to facilitate investment in the country. They include the Industrial Policy, the Trade Policy and the Industrial Master plan which are in their final stages.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the PSF, Robert Bayigamba, lauded the achievements that have so far been registered since President Kagame assumed the chairmanship of the East African Community.
“The most laudable feat is the opening of regional borders on a 24-hour basis which will cut transportation costs and hence increase business flow,” said Bayigamba.
The President announced that by September 1, Rwandan entry points will be open for business for all the 24 hours of the day.
“But this will only work if we properly coordinate with our brothers and sisters in the EAC,” he said.
Two countries have participated for the first time in the Expo slated to end on September 8, they are South Africa and Ghana.