The New Times (Kigali)

2 August 2014

Rwanda: Prioritise Value Addition, Premier Tells Private Sector

Focus on adding value to local produce will not only promote Rwandan products but also create employment opportunities and boost the country's export sector, Prime Minister Anastase Murekezi has said.

Murekezi, who was touring the ongoing 17th Rwanda trade fair in Gikondo yesterday, re-affirmed government's commitment to addressing the challenges faced by the country's private sector.

"It's very important that you focus more on job creation and export promotion in order to foster economic development. Government is ready to facilitate the growth and expansion of the private sector through public - private partnerships and dialogue and will provide all the necessary support the sector may need. Promoting Rwandan products and supporting the private sector will remain our priority," Murekezi said.

Lowering the cost of production through infrastructural development, and availing cheap power to businesses are some of the major challenges the private sector is grappling with.

It's important to continue marketing Rwanda and its products not only through trade shows but also other business and investment platforms, Murekezi noted.

"We are reiterating our support to the private sector, a new and bigger expo ground will soon be constructed in Kagarama (Kicukiro).

I therefore urge the exhibitors to do their best in establishing business connections in Rwanda and beyond."

Emmanuel Hategeka, the Ministry of Trade and Industry's permanent secretary, said government is working with all stakeholders to promote fair and competitive trade that will enable Rwandans access job opportunities.

Benjamin Gasamagera, the PSF chairman, said the private sector has the potential to lead the country's economic growth.

"The private sector remains an economic force in the country. We are confident that with government's support a lot more will be achieved," Gasamagera said.

The two-week expo has attracted over 330 exhibitors from 15 countries, including Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Iran, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Poland, Pakistan, Singapore, Tanzania, Uganda, and the United Arab Emirates.

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