Article – Rwanda banks on special economic zones to attract investors

15 March 2015
Shanghai Daily
KIGALI, March 15 (Xinhua) — Rwanda is wooing investors to invest in the country through building special economic zones.
The Rwanda Special Economic Zones (SEZs) is a programme within the Rwanda Development Board that is designed to address domestic private sector constraints such as availability of industrial and commercial land, availability and the cost of energy, limited transport linkages, and market access among others.
Francois Kanimba, Rwandan minister of trade and industry told Xinhua on Sunday that the country was ripe for investments especially in manufacturing, service industry, tourism and hospitality, skills development among others.
“We are planning to construct SEZs economic zones across the country where investors will have the opportunity to explore the untapped potentials in Rwanda,” he said.
Kanimba said that Rwanda’s business environment is secure and the cost of doing business is friendly and the World Bank’s doing business reports have for several occasions ranked Rwanda among fastest growing economies in world that have eased the cost of doing business.
The small East African nation has so far constructed Kigali Special Economic Zone (KSEZ) located in Gasabo District within the country’s capital Kigali with phase one and two occupying 98 and 178 hectares of land respectively.
The government is now planning for phase three, which is expected to occupy 134 hectares. Phases one and two of the zone cover a surface area of 277 hectares while the third phase will cover approximately 134 hectares.
The trade zone is well equipped with tarmac roads, water and electricity rollout in all designated plots and a waste water treatment plant.
Kanimba continued that the commercial zones are designed to provide investors with industrial and commercial land, improve availability of electricity and transport linkages.
Official data show last year Rwanda attracted 500 million U.S dollars worth of investments and the government is targeting to double the investments in 2015.
According to 2014 World Bank’s Doing Business ranking, Rwanda was ranked 46 out of 189 economies surveyed globally registering improvements in the ease of obtaining construction permits, getting electricity and getting credit.
Courtesy of Shanghai Daily

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