Paris, 13 September 2011
On the last day of his official visit to France, President Kagame met with members of the Movement of the French Enterprises (MEDEF), the largest union of employers in France. In attendance also were established entrepreneurs from Rwanda.
In his opening remarks to MEDEF members, President Kagame reiterated that Rwanda and France are determined to build good relationships that would be mutually beneficial to both countries and their citizens, inviting members of the French business community to do business in Rwanda.
“The story of our new Rwanda is a continuous one, and many opportunities still abound for you to make your contribution,” said President Kagame. “For each of you, there will be something in your line of business. Whether in Agriculture, financial services, infrastructure, construction and real estate; mining, ICT, among others. I invite you to visit, and I am confident that you will find a lot of opportunities in the country, the centre of a wider East African community of more than 127 million people.”
President Kagame said the Rwandan economy is ready for business and encouraged investors to come and see firsthand the strides Rwanda has taken in creating an investment-friendly environment for all: “Rwanda’s Private Sector is the cornerstone of our economy. It is fully open to everyone, with no restrictions to international or Rwandan investors. As an international investor, it’s your choice either to own 100% of your business alone or in a partnership with someone of your choice. We have significantly strengthened institutions to facilitate investment and fought against administrative red- tape. We invite investors to travel to Rwanda and see.”
The Chairman of the Rwanda Private Sector Federation, Mr. Faustin K. Mbundu, told the group: “Rwanda is a good investment opportunity for a number of reasons, including the fact that she is a member of the EAC and CEPGL. You should consider the vast investment opportunities this presents.”
He also emphasized the fact that Rwanda is a country where investors and their investments are secure.
The meeting, which was organized by members of MEDEF in conjunction with the Rwanda Development Board, centered on establishing partnerships that will lead to sustainable development.
Mr. John Gara, CEO of the Rwanda Development Board, described the meeting as “extremely successful.” He said: “The French business community got a chance to interact with President Kagame and directly ask him questions on Rwanda’s investment climate; particularly in areas of energy, infrastructure, water management and transport. The one-on-one meetings that immediately followed with Rwandan business people clearly reflected strong enthusiasm on both sides. French business can easily penetrate the Rwandan market.”
Following his meeting with members of MEDEF, President Kagame received the Secretary General of the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF), Mr. Abdou Diouf, on a brief courtesy call.