Rwanda has unveiled new incentives for Kenyan investors interested in setting up businesses in the country.
Speaking at the second edition of the Rwanda Business Forum in Nairobi, Kenya, Thursday, Rwandan High Commissioner to Kenya H.E. James Kimonyo said Kenyan investors are welcome to do business in Rwanda.
“With just 12 percent of inter-country trade among African nations, there is so much opportunity and room for growth between us [Rwanda and Kenya],” Kimonyo was quoted by Standard Media.
The commissioner further noted that despite its dark past, Rwanda is moving on and is ready to partner with the community of nations that every investor wants to be a part of.
He also cited the ongoing Standard Gauge Railway, a mega-infrastructure project expected to connect all East African countries extending from the Kenyan coastal town of Mombasa all the way to Bunjumbura, Burundi, as a major development project that will improve trade between the two countries.
New Business Incentives
Under the leadership of the incumbent President Paul Kagame, the Rwandan government has put in place several key measures to ensure stability and transformative business reforms that will attract investors from across the world.
The government has also announced zero rates for all raw materials being imported in to the country for the manufacturing industry.
This, the Rwandan government hopes, will help to revamp and expand the manufacturing industry in the country by attracting more foreign manufacturers.
Also speaking at the business forum, Rwandan Second Councilor Glory Kayijuka Mbambazi outlined various business opportunities in the mining, manufacturing, and tourism sectors that Kenyan investors can take advantage of.
The councilor further highlighted investment opportunities in the health sector, saying that there is increasing demand for pharmaceuticals in the country.
Investors in the financial sector also stand a chance to make a successful investment in Rwanda as the country’s population continues to grow.
This demand has seen several major Kenyan banks, such as the Kenya Commercial Bank, expand their coverage to Rwanda.
Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industries Chairman Kiprono Kittony announced at the meeting that his organization has already signed an agreement with the Rwandan business community to establish areas of collaboration between the two countries.
For many decades, Kenya and Rwanda have enjoyed strong relations in many sectors, with Kenya being ranked as Rwanda’s biggest trading partner.
Between 2009 and 2013, the Kenya Port Authority handled at least 3.5 million tons of dead weight tonnage of both imports and exports to Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, three quarters of which went through Rwanda.
According to the Rwanda Development Board, by September 2014, a total of 1,302 Kenyan companies were registered in Rwanda, with the direct employment from these companies standing at around 250,000 Rwandans.