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Rwanda, Zimbabwe To Strengthen Trade Ties Further

by Edmund Kagire
4:09 am

President Mnagangwa address the Zimbabwe-Rwanda Trade Conference.

Rwanda and Zimbabwe have vowed to increase the volume of trade between the two countries as investors from both sides look to explore investment opportunities. The Zimbabwean government has assured Rwandan investors that their businesses will be protected.

These are some of the outcomes of the Zimbabwe-Rwanda Trade and Investment Conference which kicked off in Harare, Zimbabwe, on Monday opened by President Emmerson Mnangagwa

In his remarks, President Mnangagwa said that the investment conference, which follows one that happened in Kigali in September last year, will go a long way to foster trade and investment partnerships between the two friendly countries.

“The theme chosen resonates with the view that trade, investments & exports are key drivers for sustainable socio-economic development,”

“The cordial, fraternal relations between our countries should continue to spur growth of business across various sectors of our respective economies.” President Mnangagwa said.

He said the investment meet gives impetus to the two countries’ quest to strengthen commercial ties and accelerate the implementation of mutual programmes and projects towards improving the standard and quality of life of the people of Rwanda and Zimbabwe.

“On behalf of the people and Government of Zimbabwe, I want to welcome the business delegation from Rwanda,”

“This timely visit demonstrates the focus, determination and commitment to the prime objectives we set for ourselves with regards to broadening the trade and investment partnerships between our two countries,” he added.

President Mnangagwa oversaw the signing of three Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) namely in Trade and Investment, Implementation agreement on Energy, and an MoU between Rwanda’s Private Sector Federation and the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce.

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Beata Habyarimana commended the Zimbabwean trade ministry and Rwanda Development Board (RDB) for initiating the timely forum to promote bilateral trade and investments.

“Our cooperation has grown exponentially in the last 5 years with several agreements signed in education, energy, agriculture, ICT, and tourism,”

“COVID-19 showed the importance of close collaborations among nations in facing global challenges. The urgency of Africa’s self-reliance in reinforcing trade & investment ties in Africa is essential in achieving a common objective of achieving social and economic transformation,” Minister Habyarimana said.

Zimbabwe’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Amb. Fredrick Shava highlighted the need to expedite the implementation of the signed agreements during the Kigali conference. The MoUs were signed in the areas of agriculture, ICT and e-government, tourism and business, and environment.

A fifth MoU was signed between the Confederation of Zimbabwe industries (CZI) and Rwanda’s Private Sector Federation (PSF), represented by chairman Robert Bafakulera.

“Today’s conference will see the signing of agreements in economic trade and investment cooperation, a testament to the commitment of our brotherly relationship to produce results,” Shava said.

RDB Deputy CEO, Zeph Niyonkuru said that Rwanda hopes to increase the volumes of trade as well as the value of services between the two nations.

“We have had some investments from Zimbabwe in Rwanda, but since the conference in Kigali last year, we have seen additional businesses being registered. These businesses will also benefit other countries in the region and beyond,” Niyonkuru said.

Speaking during a panel discussion, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Prof. Mthuli Ncube, while responding to the question investor protection, assured Rwandan investors that their business in the country will be protected.

Minister Ncube implored the visiting delegation not to panic about making investments in Zimbabwe as the country ensures easy repatriation of dividends and investor protection as mainly provided for by the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA).

He further highlighted that Zimbabwe had vast investment opportunities available particularly in the agriculture, mining, and tourism sectors.

The Conference is running under the theme ‘Explore, Invest, Export’ which resonates with the widely accepted view that trade, investment, and exports are key drivers of sustainable socio-economic development and growth.

A total of 60 Rwandan businesses are participating in the Conference that runs to March 31.


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