Rwanda could start exporting textile garments to Europe and the USA following a new trade deal between government and C&H, a Chinese based garments manufacturing company.
Under the memorandum of understanding, the company will set up a garments manufacturing plant worth $10million (about Rwf7billion) at the Kigali Special Economic Zone.
The factory is expected to start with over 1000 Rwandan staff but it projects to employ over 30,000 locals within five years.
Clare Akamanzi, the Chief Operating Officer at Rwanda Development Board, said that the investment will boost the local manufacturing sector and will diversify the country's export base.
"The deal is in line with government's initiative to create employment opportunities for Rwandans. We look forward to seeing Rwanda create homemade garments that will be commercially successful in both domestic and export markets," Akamanzi said.
Government will fund 50% of the cost of the training programmes while the investor will provide the equipments and any other expertise.
"We expect the factory to be fully operational and ready to export in the next 18months," Akamanzi said.
Helen Hai, Director, C&H Garments Company said that the investment will act as a spring board to attract more Chinese investors into the country.
"C&H Garments is pleased to start a new manufacturing unit in the Kigali Special Economic Zone. We will shortly be shipping new equipment from China and plan to recruit our initial 200 workers in September 2014. We believe that Rwanda can offer a strong and disciplined workforce that will ensure we develop a successful business exporting garments to both Europe and the US."
Hai said the company is projecting to set up a textile plant that will employ more than 30,000 in the next 5 years to supply both regional and international markets.
Achieving large scale industrial manufacturing and developing a broad base of skills in manufacturing is in line with achieving the goals of Rwanda's Second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS2) programme.