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Speech by H.E Paul Kagame at the MEDEF business breakfast

Paris, 13 September 2011

  • Distinguished Business Leaders;
  • Ladies and Gentlemen;

I am very delighted to join you this morning to deliver my personal invitation to do business with Rwanda.

Let me first thank the leaders of MEDEF for inviting me and organizing this very important gathering this morning.

Today, France and Rwanda are determined to build a good relationship that allows our citizens to interact in a mutually beneficial manner.

It is in that context that I come today to invite you to do business in our country. My delegation, that includes successful business men and women will tell you their personal experiences, that hopefully should stimulate your interest to come and see for yourselves.

 

Rwanda's Private Sector is the cornerstone of our economy, and is fully open to everyone with no restrictions, international or Rwandan investors alike.

As an international investor, it's your choice either to own 100% of your business alone, or in partnership with someone else you may choose.

We have significantly strengthened our facilitating institutions and fought against administrative red tape.

  • For example:

It takes an investor only 24 hours, one procedure and just $25 to register a company in Rwanda.

Only one institution; the Rwanda Development Board has a mandate to facilitate not only the registration of companies but also provide after-care through the life of the investment project - (one stop centre).

We have also simplified the process of acquiring or transferring land and other forms of property in the country, and cut down the time to get a construction permit from over 200 days to just 45 days today.

These reforms have also extended to our commercial justice system, where Commercial Courts have been established to resolve business disputes. They now guarantee a judgment in less than 100 days.

These reforms have been consistent and gradual. This is why the 2011 World Bank Doing Business Report, named Rwanda the 2nd most reformed country in the world over a five year period.

Just last week, the Global Competitiveness Report also found Rwanda to be among the top three most competitive places to do business in Africa.

Dear Friends;

These achievements happen within the context of our development Vision 2020, where Rwandans aspire for a middle income country by the year 2020.

Private investment has a strong contribution to realize our vision. The government, or Public Sector, is currently investing in the requisite infrastructure, both soft and hard.

For example, we have invested in a high speed fiber optic infrastructure in the entire country, established a modern free trade zone to support the manufacturing sector, and we are undertaking investments to increase affordable energy for the economy.

We have established a stock exchange market, now operating since 2009 where listed stocks have generated a big international investment interest, and opportunity for others to recover their equity.

Moreover, we have embarked on efforts to strengthen our skills force. From providing free 9 year basic education, as our means increase, we have raised it to 12 years, ensuring that soon every Rwandan child will acquire at least secondary school education.

We have also increased universities and tertiary institutions from just 1 university in 1994 to 29 universities by 2010, owned by both the private and public sector - and promoted TVET centers across the country.

So far, our efforts have produced modest but important results. Not only has the economy grown by an average of 8.8% since 2005, Rwanda's economy is one of the top ten fastest growing of the last decade, according to the IMF.

These results build on the overall governance framework in place. Our government has over time strengthened governance institutions, ensured the rule of law and zero tolerance to corruption - the results of which are evident in publications of institutions such as the World Bank and Transparency International.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen;

The story of our new Rwanda is a continuous one, and many opportunities still abound for you to make your contribution.

For each of you, there will be something in your line of business. Whether in Agriculture, financial services, infrastructure, construction & real estate, mining, ICT, etc.

I invite you to visit, and I am confident that you will find a lot more opportunities in the country, the center of a wider East African community of more than 127 million people.

Finally, let me end by reiterating our commitment to meaningful partnerships, and look forward to welcoming you to Rwanda and to see you doing mutually beneficial business with us.

Thank you for your attention.

Paris, 13 September 2011

  • Distinguished Business Leaders;
  • Ladies and Gentlemen;

I am very delighted to join you this morning to deliver my personal invitation to do business with Rwanda.

Let me first thank the leaders of MEDEF for inviting me and organizing this very important gathering this morning.

Today, France and Rwanda are determined to build a good relationship that allows our citizens to interact in a mutually beneficial manner.

It is in that context that I come today to invite you to do business in our country. My delegation, that includes successful business men and women will tell you their personal experiences, that hopefully should stimulate your interest to come and see for yourselves.