Saturday, 22 June 2013

Outgoing Chinese, Sudanese envoys to woo investors to Rwanda


Ambassador Shu Zhan after meeting President Kagame yesterday. 
Outgoing Chinese and Sudanese ambassadors to Rwanda have promised to encourage entrepreneurs in their countries to invest in Rwanda.

Ambassadors Shu Zhan and Nasreldin Ahmed Walli, who met President Paul Kagame during separate farewell audiences yesterday said they will also encourage their successors to maintain good cooperation of their governments with Rwanda.

With more than 40 years of diplomatic cooperation with Rwanda, China has invested in various projects, including the health sector, road construction, electricity facilities, water supply, and digital broadcasting.

Ambassador Zhan who has been working in Rwanda for two and a half years said the country’s commitment to improve her economy is also a potential opportunity for Chinese entrepreneurs.

 “Rwandans are really self-determined and self-defined for their development. They work very hard; one can see quick and sufficient results from their efforts. That’s what they (investors) would value,” he said in an interview shortly after meeting President Kagame.

The diplomat who is also retiring after working in Africa for 36 years said Kagame told him that Rwandans wish for further cooperation between Rwanda and China, a message that he will convey to his successor.

As part of its China-Africa cooperation vision for the period from 2013 to 2015, China has agreed to expand its cooperation areas to include a credit line to support the development of Rwanda’s infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing, and the development of small and medium-sized enterprises.

The bilateral trade value between the two countries doubled compared to 2009 to reach $160 million (about Rwf102.4 billion) in 2012.

Sudanese to invest 

Meanwhile, Amb. Ahmed Walli,  said  his country’s leadership will continue to strengthen relationships with Rwanda for the benefits of the two countries’ citizens.

The outgoing Sudanese envoy said both countries have a lot in common as they both move from agricultural based economies towards more industrial development.

“I think Rwanda and Sudan have a lot to share, especially in exchange of expertise and experiences,” he said.

The diplomat revealed that following a business tour that entrepreneurs from his country made in Rwanda, seven Sudanese companies have decided to create a holding company to invest in Rwanda’s infrastructure, agriculture, food processing, and road transport.

Both Sudan and Rwanda are members of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and they have signed a bilateral cooperation framework , the General Cooperation Framework signed in March this year, which officials in both countries said will boost economic cooperation among other sectors.

Rwanda is the fifth-best destination for investment in the world, according to the 2013 Baseline Profitability Index published last month by the U.S.-based Foreign Policy Magazine. Investments in the country are mostly going into construction, agriculture and agro-processing, mining, information and communication technology (ICT), tourism, banking and insurance.


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