Rwanda and Mauritius boost business ties
According to entrepreneurs from both sides, the buyer-seller meeting is an ideal platform to establish fruitful contacts between Rwandan and Mauritian business firms. (Image: CNN)
Rwanda is hosting a two-day trade mission with Mauritius which aims at promoting exports between the two countries.
The annual event, which started on March 24 and ends today in Kigali, is the second ‘buyer and seller’ meeting organized by Enterprise Mauritius in collaboration with Private Sector Federation, where 22 Mauritian companies are present and showcasing a wide range of ‘made in Mauritius’ products.
Products and services include textile, plastics, detergents, cosmetics, chemicals, fertilizers, pipes and fittings, furniture, footwear, books, printing services as well as a services such as ICT, education and training services.
“The meeting will involve business match-making, providing traders from both countries an avenue to exchange ideas, network, as well as market products and seek partnerships,” said the Private Sector Federation Chairman Benjamin Gasamagera.
According to entrepreneurs from both sides, the buyer-seller meeting is an ideal platform to establish fruitful contacts between Rwandan and Mauritian business firms.
“We decided to come to Kigali to strengthen trade and relationships between the two countries and economic relations between the business communities,” said Dev Chamroo, CEO of Enterprise Mauritius, the island’s premier trade promotion body.
According to the Private Sector Federation, current trade between Mauritius and Rwanda is worth $500,000 (about Rwf400m or MUR 15 million).
Furthermore, Rwanda’s export to Mauritius and the regional market include minerals such as cassiterite, coltan, wolfram, agro-products and textiles whereas Mauritian investors have already started to invest in Rwanda in sectors such as energy and sugar production.
Diane Sayinzoga, the Rwanda Development Board trade development division manager, has urged local entrepreneurs to use the meeting as a platform to market their products and also learn and share experiences with their Mauritian counterparts.
“The government will continue improving the business environment to reduce the cost of doing business and increase productivity of firms in the country,” she further added.
“You will not be able to fully satisfy international market demand if you don’t diversify your exports sector and work towards attracting direct foreign investments and joint partnerships,” said Michael Nehaldas, Chairman of Enterprise Mauritius and head of the delegation.
“Let us show the world how important it is to do business among ourselves; It should not stop at what World Bank Doing Business reports have been telling the world, but rather take full advantage of what these reports say,” he said.
Mauritius was ranked the best country to do business in Africa by the World Bank Doing Business report 2014, followed by Rwanda; furthermore, both countries are members of the Common Market for Eastern Africa (COMESA), which promotes intra-regional trade with goods exempted from customs duty.
Finally, last year, Rwanda and Mauritius signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen ties between the two countries, as well as harmonize some of the tax regimes exempting traders from either country from double taxation, and also to prevent revenue leakages.