The New Times (Kigali)

26 July 2012

Rwanda: Country's Foreign Investments Surge to U.S.$476.5 Million

Rwanda has registered a twofold rise in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the second quarter of this year compared to the same period last year, according to Rwanda Development Board.

Statistics from RDB indicate that foreign investment flow shot up to $476.5m in the second quarter of this year, up from $220.4 million in the same period last year. The growth is attributable to the rapid economic development strategy adopted by RDB

"The investment is expected to create 11,436 jobs. Jobs registered in this last quarter are also higher compared to those registered in the same quarter last year mainly due to a big number of temporary jobs in mining projects and expected to create 5,153 jobs same period last year," RDB said in a statement seen by the Business Times.

"We have registered an increase of more than 50 per cent in the total value of registered projects, compared to the value of projects registered in the same period of 2011"

According to RDB, through a clear and well- coordinated result oriented strategy (a rapid economic development strategy), they managed to attract the investment.

Under the strategy, each department at RDB promotes investment---targeting specific investors for a specific clusters and investment projects.

"The government has also opened strategic business offices in different countries like Turkey, Canada, UK, USA, South Africa, Singapore and China, with the aim of promoting investments in those countries"

Tourism attracted more investments worth $184.2 million, agriculture $98 million, while construction, real estate and mining attracted $60.6 million and $54.8 million, respectively.

ICT, services, manufacturing, education registered $41.4 million, $20.1 million, $16.4 million and $1.1 million in that order.

Rwanda has made tremendous progress but overall investment (FDI, domestic) is still below the government target needed achieve the national development goals outlined in Vision 2020.

"We will continue to put more efforts into attracting investments. In 2011, we surpassed our target of $550 million and registered investment worth $626 million, which is an indication of the positive strides we are making," the statement reads.

"What we have seen is that investors are looking for economies that are growing and where they can invest their funds productively. Africa is being continuously seen as one such region. Rwanda which is among the fastest growing countries in Africa as well as one the most business-friendly is surely attractive."

RDB is also targeting to attract investments worth $ 835 million this year up from the $ 626 million that was recorded in 2011.

"We are also monitoring performance of investments already registered in 2010 and 2011 so that by 2012, at least 70 percent of them have started implementation and 50 percent are fully operational selling their products and services to the Rwandan consumers or exporting."

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