The New Times (Kigali)

8 July 2014

Rwanda Looks to Singapore for Business Partnerships

Rwanda will take advantage of the forthcoming Africa Singapore Business Forum to foster trade partnerships with Singapore investors.

The country has been invited to take part in a one-day meeting due to take place on August 27 in Singapore, Geoffrey Kamanzi, the Private Sector Federation (PSF) head of trade negotiations and facilitation, has said.

Kamanzi said the meeting aims at sharpening dialogue skills and will deliver first hand insights from practitioners in Africa and Asia. It is being organised by the International Enterprise Singapore.

The forum will also recognise the intense global competition for Africa and Rwanda in particular and the growing influence of private sector, Kamanzi added.

Sources at the Private Sector Federation indicated that both countries are expected to sign trade deals to facilitate bilateral trade.

Investors from Rwanda will also use the platform to network and share best business practices with their counterparts from the Singapore Business Federation.

"We are mobilising our members, especially from agri -business industry, food processing, transport and logistics, oil and gas, mining, retail business and manufacturing to take part in the business forum and share their experience with international firms," Kamanzi told Business Times yesterday.

Investors from Singapore, including Vector Scorecard, a renowned small-and-medium software and applications developer, have already expressed interest in investing in the country, the Rwanda High Commission in Singapore, said in a statement.

"They have made a detailed presentation to me on how they think they can support in SME development in Rwanda. They wanted either private sector or Rwanda Development Board to front their initiative in Rwanda. We, therefore, look forward to the Rwandan team that will be in Singapore to discuss this initiative further," said Lukas Murenzi, the in charge of the commercial section at the Rwandan High Commission in Singapore.

Co-operation between Rwanda and Singapore has focused more on public sector capacity building for the last few years.

The business forum could be a gateway for the private sector to strengthen the commercial aspect of bilateral relationships that exist between the two countries.

The Rwandan high commission in Singapore has organised three days of business to business meetings besides the conference for Rwanda delegation and investors from Singapore which could result into business joint ventures between the two sides.

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