Wang Xuekun, Chinese ambassador to Rwanda says the bilateral trade between his country and Rwanda has recorded the highest increase ever, of 31.2%, reaching $477 million since the establishment of the bilateral relations.
Since the two nations’ bilateral ties were formed on November 12, 1971, they have increased their collaboration in a number of areas, particularly in the area of investment, where China is one of the major sources of foreign direct investment for Rwanda.
For example, according to Amb Xuekun, a total investment from China to Rwanda last year hit $182 million, reportedly indicating a momentum into the country’s economy.
He made the observation during the second Rwanda-China Alumni Organisation (RCAO) ‘Job Fair’ held in Kigali City on September 9.
“The past years saw a steady and robust growth of China-Rwanda relations, with achievements in comprehensive spheres. Especially in economic and business areas, our ties gain great advancement. China remains as Rwanda’s top investor and trading partner. Last year, our bilateral trade reached 477 million US dollars. It is up by 31.2%, and a record high. Based on RDB’s statistics, the total investment from China last year hit 182 million US dollars, injecting sound momentum into Rwanda’s economy,” Amb Xuekun said.
“Nowadays, more and more Chinese companies come to Rwanda and explore opportunities in different sectors, not only in the traditional ones of infrastructure, manufacture, transportation, but also in emerging areas like e-commerce, vocational training. communications, and so on,” he added.
Amb Xuekun pointed out that Chinese companies working in Rwanda aim to provide a good platform for the employment of Rwandans who studied in China, but also for Chinese companies’ integration to the Rwandan economy.
During the RCAO “job fair” over 30 Chinese companies met about 400 job seekers. They included construction companies, logistics, technology companies, among others. For resistance, the recruiting companies included Huawei, Carcarbaba(automobile company), baby steps (baby diaper producers), Top International engineering corporation, among others.
“30 Chinese companies will provide different opportunities for you, our Chinese alumni today. You have been well-exposed to the culture of both countries, and understand both Rwanda and China. You are also the witnesses of China-Rwanda friendship and cooperation,” Amb Xuekun added.
“I trust you will gain satisfying results today and could put your talents and skills into practice, to work for the development of Rwanda socio-economy and add to China-Rwanda friendship,” he stated.
According to the reports from RCAO, there are over 800 members, and the organisation aims at finding jobs for all the members.
“The first edition, we had thirty people employed. Others got contacts, we hope more will be employed,” Theoneste Higaniro, Chairperson of RCAO said.
“It is a good opportunity. So far, it is a chance for the China alumni, but we hope in the following editions, we shall invite other foreign companies, and opportunities we also reach other people who didn’t not have a chance to study in China. Meanwhile, we are working on the database that will help us to assess our members who are unemployed, for them to be also connected to employers,” he added.
Chinese investments are increasingly noticeable, among other things, in the infrastructure, trade, manufacturing, textiles, hospitality industry, and real estate sectors.
China has invested in infrastructure projects over the years, particularly roads in the rural areas surrounding Kigali, the country’s capital, where China Road and Bridge Corporation is still one of the country’s top developers.
“It is a great opportunity to meet several companies that need to hire us. We are trying our chances, maybe we could be hired. We have the skills; we are just waiting to earn from them,” Jean Bosco Gatsinzi, a job seeker said.
President Xi Jinping of China highlighted the significance of trade and investment between Rwanda and China as well as the rest of Africa during his historic visit to Rwanda in July 2018. He also stated that China believes in win-win cooperation with Africa.
While recently announced Chinese investments in Rwanda, such as the M Hotel, have absorbed more workers, the Belt and Road Initiative projects there have produced hundreds of jobs and significantly enhanced people’s quality of life.
“Education is not the end itself, however it should be able to solve society problems. This event should not only serve to link us, but also to learn how Chinese does business, entrepreneurship skills and being able to create for the future generations,” Patrick Kananga, Chief Labour and Decent Work Administrator at the Ministry of Public Service and Labour (MIFOTRA) said.
“This job fair is a unique platform to learn from each, young people should seize this opportunity,” he added.