The Emirati-Rwandan Business Forum, organised by the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) and hosted by the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), concluded on a high note with the signing of three agreements and memorandums of understanding.
The agreements aimed to strengthen partnerships and deepen joint economic relations between the UAE and Rwanda. They will provide more opportunities for investment cooperation in various sectors, raise the level of trade exchange, and find new paths of cooperation.
The first agreement, signed between the Rwanda Private Sector Federation (PSF) and the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), aims to launch the first Emirati-Rwandan business council.
The council will represent businessmen and private sector representatives from both sides and express their aspirations and desires while achieving the desired goals of enhancing joint cooperation and increasing the volume of exchange, trade, and investment between the two countries.
The second memorandum of understanding brought together the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Rwandan Businessmen Federation, while the third agreement was between the Emirates Businesswomen Council and the Rwandan Businessmen Federation.
The two agreements are set to enhance the exchange of information and trade delegations between the two sides, which will contribute to the consolidation of economic relations and stimulate the flow of investments in both countries.
The event was attended by high-profile officials including Sheikh Majid bin Faisal Al Qasimi, First Deputy Chairman of SCCI, HE Hazaa Mohammad Al Qahtani, Ambassador of the UAE to Rwanda, HE Emmanuel Hategeka, Ambassador of Rwanda to the UAE, and HE Waleed Abdul Rahman Bukhatir, Second Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, SCCI, Eng. Farida Al-Awadi, Chairperson & President UAE Emirates Business Women's Council, along with a number of SCCI and FCCI board members
Also present were HE Mohammad Ahmed Amin Al Awadi, Director-General of Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), HE Clare Akamanzi, Chief Executive Officer – Rwanda Development Board (RDB), Jeanne Francoise Mubiligi, Acting Chairperson - Private Sector Federation (PSF), and Rashid Al Tunaiji, Director of the Trade Promotion Department at the Ministry of Economy. More than 100 representatives of the Emirati and Rwandan business community and representatives of a number of government entities in Sharjah were also present.
Bukhatir emphasized that the SCCI’s hosting of the event was driven by its keenness to boost economic relations and encourage trade and investment exchange between the UAE and Rwanda. He lauded the significant progress made in economic relations between the two countries in recent years, with trade exchange amounting to approximately $900 million in 2021, particularly in critical sectors such as general trade, technology, and tourism.
Bukhatir also noted the positive impact of mutual visits between officials from both sides, leading to several agreements including the most recent agreement on April 28, 2022, to avoid double taxation on income and capital, aimed at enhancing economic and technical cooperation.
For her part, HE Akamanzi stressed that the forum represents a significant step towards further strengthening the robust relations between Rwanda and the UAE, particularly in light of the remarkable growth in trade and investment over the past seven years. As the UAE is Rwanda's primary trading partner, trade between the two countries has grown tenfold, reaching $1.09 billion, with exports accounting for 53% of this amount in 2022. The value of joint investments has also increased to around $248 million.
She highlighted that Rwanda has opened its doors to a wide range of investment opportunities, and the government has recently enacted legislative policies aimed at attracting more foreign capital. Currently, Rwanda ranks 38th out of 190 countries in ease of doing business and is ranked second in Africa.
Meanwhile, Jeanne Francoise Mubiligi said that the forum constituted an important opportunity for the Rwandan business community to explore new opportunities in the UAE market, which enjoys a stable investment, economic, and political environment capable of continuing economic growth.
Mubiligi added that Rwanda is open to multiple areas of investment and has legislative policies recently enacted by the government to attract more foreign capital. Today, it ranks 38th out of 190 in ease of doing business and 2nd in Africa. The UAE is characterized by the ease of doing business for foreign investors and companies, reliable sources of energy and raw materials, and the best infrastructure with information and communication technology, and a very important strategic location for supply chains.