21 October 2011

Rwanda: Best Place to Do Business

Photo: businessdaily
Paying for transactions by mobile phone in Kenya.

Rwanda is the top business friendly destination in East Africa, the third in Africa and the second top reformer globally according to the World Bank

Rwanda has been ranked the third easiest place to do business in Africa after Mauritius which ranks first and the economic giant on the continent, South Africa, which came second, according to the 2012 World Bank Doing Business Report, which was released yesterday.

It therefore, makes Rwanda the most business and investment friendly destination in East Africa.

The report ranks the country at position 45 globally, having moved up 13 places from the 58th position it occupied in 2010, in being business friendly worldwide.

Globally, Rwanda is the second top reformer over the period of five years between 2006 and 2011, after Georgia. These two countries have been the most consistent in reforming over the years.

Mauritius is ranked first in Africa and 23rd globally followed by South Africa which ranks second and 35th globally.

The prestigious World Bank Doing Business Report is considered the most important indicator of destination where foreign business should go when seeking investment opportunities, sound judicial systems and corruption free regime.

The performance places Rwanda ahead of its East African Community (EAC) partners as a choice destination for foreign investment and international business.

Responding to the report, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) said the business reforms that have earned the country acclaim, are part of the government's extensive efforts to promote the country as an attractive business and investment destination in order to drive the growth of the private sector.

"We are encouraged by this ranking, it is a result of efforts by government to streamline business procedures, create a conducive legal framework, reduce bureaucracy and improve service delivery in order to promote both domestic and foreign investment," said John Gara CEO of the Board.

More improvements have been made in the areas of setting up businesses, where Rwanda is now the eighth easiest in the world having improved on last year's ninth position. As part of the reforms, the country has shortened the required procedures and introduced free online registration.

Other criteria considered include getting credit, in which the country ranks eighth in the world up from 32nd position last year, after the government created a fully functional private Credit Reference Bureau.

In Paying Taxes, Rwanda has moved to the 19th position up from last year's 43rd last year, making Rwanda one of the easiest place in the world to pay taxes.

In enforcing contracts, Rwanda is the 39th easiest in the world and the position remains unchanged from last year.

"The country will continue to enhance progress beyond the World Bank Doing Business indicators to enhance the business environment, "reads part of the statement from RDB.

It asserts that RDB will continue the public private dialogue that has precipitated some of the reforms as well as drive the efforts to provide a better and conducive business climate in order to encourage private sector growth.

In addition, building on positive gains made in cross-border trading, Rwanda will continue to work with partner states in the region, particularly in the EAC to promote a regional approach to business reforms.

Summary of investments in Rwanda

-The investment data shows that a total of 766 local, foreign and joint venture projects worth $4.35billion were registered between 2000 and 2010

- The total value of registered foreign investments dominated the total investments in the country standing at 55 percent of the total value. Local investments follow at 42 percent and joint ventures at only 3 percent.

-On average, for the last 11 years, projects worth US$ 396 million were registered each year

-The peak value of projects registered in any one year was $1.1 billion in 2009

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