Kagame visit to spur investment

THE just concluded two-day working visit by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda in Tanzania has greater economic impacts through improvement of business and investment between the two countries, analysts have observed.

They are of the view that the visit is a bold initiative by the two countries to continue cementing further the existing cooperation for mutual benefits of people from both nations.

The Rwandan President made a two-day visit to Tanzania between Thursday and Friday where he met with President Samia Suluhu Hassan at the State House in Dar es Salaam for official talks.

During their meetings, the two leaders agreed to improve trade relations by enhancing the business and investment environment through an effective utilisation of the available resources.

They also discussed defence and security matters, where they agreed to enhance security as well as instructing the Joint Permanent Commission (JPC) of the two countries to work on all issues that remained pending for proper finalisation.

An economist cum Banker Dr Hilderbrand Shayo viewed the visit by President Kagame as a channel that provided a platform for Rwanda to publicise, introduce and promote its investment plans and trade setting critical for its economic growth ambition.

Also, the visit was aimed at facilitating investment, trade and business operations of Rwanda business community and companies.

“President Dr Samia and President Paul Kagame’s high-level dialogue from an economic point of view is valuable for both nations since they have provided pragmatic high-level communication,” he said.

He explained that the visit was a significant and concrete move   to be used by President Samia in sending out the signal that Tanzania welcomes a strengthened trade relationship with Rwanda.

“The meeting held between these two leaders is going to ensure the private sector from these two nations  communicate and interact with each other with a friendly, candid, and pragmatic attitude that offers the best way to enhance mutual understanding.

According to him, the meeting also would help to address the minor existing problems in Rwanda-Tanzania trade, especially on cargo on transit.

“Undeniably, Rwanda and Tanzania enjoy deep-rooted traditional friendship,” he said, adding that the bilateral ties have always been a good example for Tanzania and other East African nations to follow in building their relationships.

In recent years, the two countries have witnessed steady development especially in economic and trade fields, the two sectors are highly benefiting the private sector which is the engine of economic growth in the two nations.

More so, it is well known that in the East Africa region, the government of Tanzania has made large policy adjustments in various areas including taxation, immigration and investment.

University of Dodoma lecturer Dr Paul Loisulie said the visit by the Rwandan Head of State has a crucial role to play in removing stumbling blocks in business and trade between the two countries.

The leaders, through the meeting, had an opportunity to discuss and make decisions on issues that need their attention for sustainable development of the neighbouring countries.

The visit also served the role of cementing the confidence of investors working in the two countries basing on the long standing bilateral ties on various areas of cooperation in trade, investment, transport and communication.

For his part, an Assistant Lecturer at the Institute of Finance Management (IFM) Godsaviour Christopher said the visit by President Kagame will increase the trade flows between the two countries.

The main goods exported to Rwanda include intermediate goods, raw materials, vegetables, and other consumer goods. “We import machines and electronics as well as capital goods from Rwanda.”

“Looking at the geographical locations of these two countries, the bilateral trade between the two states is expected to increase, as Rwanda is a land-linked country depending on Tanzania’s central transport corridor and Dar es Salaam port for their major trading activities,” he said.

He said following the meeting between the two national leaders, they will likely swiftly work on any pending trade barriers or tariffs between them, as all of them are within the East African Community.

“Tanzania is expected to continue to be a net exporter, while Rwanda will continue to be a net importer based on the nature of trade between these countries,” he said.

Tanzania and Rwanda are good trade partners. Rwanda’s exports to Tanzania amounted to 5.04 million US dollars in 2019, while they imported goods worth 278.5 million US dollars from Tanzania in the same period.

For his part, a political analyst Goodluck Ng’ingo said the agreement on enhancing defence and security between the two countries will strengthen the security situation in the borders, especially Karagwe.

This, according to him, will enable people living on the border areas to conduct their business activities without fear.

Commenting on the President’s discussion on the importance of completing the Rusumo Hydropower project Mr N’gingo unveiled that the completion of the project will help in creating employment opportunities in both countries as the hydropower project will be used to run Nickel Project.

Moreover, Mr Ng’ingo said the agreements in improving trade relations between Tanzania and Rwanda probably will bring benefits to the Dar es Salaam Port as huge cargo pass through it.

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