Rwanda: Local Businesses Urged to Leverage RwandAir's New Kinshasa Route

The Minister for Trade and Industry, Soraya Hakuziyaremye, has urged Rwandans to tap into business opportunities in DR Congo's capital, Kinshasa.

The minister equally urged the Congolese to explore business opportunities in Rwanda to make the most of the trade relations between the two countries.

She was on Wednesday evening addressing guests at a dinner organised as part of the activities to launch the national carrier RwandAir's first flight to Kinshasa.

The event was also attended by Azarias Ruberwa Manywa, DR Congo's deputy Prime Minister and acting Minister for Transport and Communication.

The two ministers noted that the airline's new route will augment bilateral trade relations and citizens ought to take advantage.

Hakuziyaremye told officials and members of the business community from both countries that Kigali is happy for the reinvigorated cooperation between the sister countries, especially in air transport.

"Air transport does not only allow us to renew our brotherly relations, but also our trade ties. I encourage the private sector of our two countries to exploit all the opportunities offered by our two respective countries," she said.

According to the minister, last year alone, trade volume between the two countries was valued at $106 million, which is expected to grow, with direct flights between the two capitals.

She said Kigali is confident that bilateral trade can only grow.

"We invite the Congolese business community to come and explore business opportunities in our country," she added.

On his part, Ruberwa, who had earlier on Wednesday been at the airport in Kinshasa to welcome RwandAir's maiden flight, said it was an immense joy.

Previously, he noted, they had 14 international airlines operating there and RwandAir's arrival comes to enrich the vast country's air transport sector.

"This is a cooperation that is mutually advantageous," he noted.

Congolese President Etienne Tshisekedi recently visited Kigali. Where he emphasised the need to step up cooperation between the two countries.

Ruberwa noted that the reinvigorated bilateral relations inject a new impetus into all spheres of bilateral cooperation.

Buoyed by RwandAir's new route, members of the Private Sector Federation (PSF) who traveled on the maiden flight held meetings in Kinshasa aimed at bolstering trade.

Ambroise Tshiyoyo, an officer in charge of external relations at DR Congo's Federation des Enterprises du Congo (FEC), on Wednesday hosted the visiting PSF team and assured them that a better working relationship is possible.

Tshiyoyo said: "Flight bringing Rwandan business people on a regular basis to Kinshasa is a very big achievement. And we want you (Rwandans) to always feel at home here."

Eric Gishoma, the first Vice-chairperson of PSF, noted that they were ready to do everything possible to ensure good business relations.

"Thanks to RwandAir now it will be possible to work in Kinshasa and sleep in Kigali, and vice versa, in just one day without much difficulty," Gishoma said.

"When we go back to Kigali we shall organise another trip because now we came with a small group," he said.

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