Rwanda: India Approves Agreement to Facilitate Trade, Investment With Rwanda

The Government of India has given a go-ahead for a trade agreement that will bolster the bilateral relations with East African country Rwanda. The Indian cabinet released an official statement approving of the trade cooperation framework signed on July 23 during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the East African country, making a historic achievement of the first Indian premier to step foot in Rwanda.

During the visit, the two countries signed eight Memorandum of Associations (MoUs) and extended two lines of credit worth $200 million. They were primarily for industrialisation growth and agricultural sector boost. PM Narendra Modi also gifted the African nation 200 cows to promote solidarity.

The Indian premier held talks with the country's Head of State and African Union (AU) chairman Paul Kagame on how to spur trade relations between the two countries. Rwanda is one of the fastest growing economies in Africa with a cutting edge in ease of doing business. Its attractive business environment has attracted potential investors around the globe who have set up companies to develop the economy.

The green light to the framework agreement will see both countries benefit from each other. It is an opportunity for India's private sector to invest in the sub-Saharan state that has seen the inflow of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) increase on a yearly basis. They have resulted in better economic growth for the country through revenues for the Government and employment opportunities for the Rwandans.

In 2017, Indian investors pledged to invest in new technologies to benefit the Rwandans. Over 100 investments worth $1 billion were on Rwanda's radar under a 2-year program. WaterLife an Indian water purifying company was ready to bring water shortage in the country to a halt and offer better services.

Indian companies are interested in agriculture, health, IT, leather and energy. The leather industry in India is a paramount sector in the country due to the revenue it brings to the Government. The leather sector in Rwanda has a significant role as well in the economic growth of the country.

India-Rwanda Innovation Growth Programme (IRIGP), a unique initiative between the two countries to bolster economic cooperation in science and technology announced over 500 Indian firms would clock the nation of Rwanda. It was a program to grow the industrialisation sector of the landlocked country.

India's exports to Rwanda have been textiles, electrical machinery and pharmaceuticals. India has been importing tea, vegetables, zinc waste and scrap from Rwanda. Their foreign relations have opened businesses and trade activities between Asia and Africa, increasing the trading volumes.

Although the trade of balance has favoured India, they have urged Rwanda to export more by supporting the local industry. It will also boost the strength of the local currency.

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