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Zim, Rwanda seek to strengthen economic ties

Zimbabwe and Rwanda’s economic ties continue to deepen through the annual trade and investment conference, which provides a window for the two countries to explore new opportunities for collaboration.

This year’s high-level Rwanda-Zimbabwe Business Forum, set for March 18–20, 2024, in Kigali, Rwanda becomes the third conference since the inaugural event held in Rwanda in 2021.

The event, being organised by the country’s trade development and promotion agency, ZimTrade, and the Rwanda Development Board, is expected to strengthen bilateral trade relations between the two countries.

ZimTrade chief executive officer, Mr Allan Majuru, said this year’s programme complements the Government’s engagement and re-engagement drive.

“The Business Forum is complementing ongoing efforts by the government to create stronger linkages between our businesses and partners across Africa, where opportunities are bountiful.

“President Mnangagwa has been clear that Zimbabwe has a lot to offer in Africa in areas of tourism, investment, and trade, and we will take advantage of the Business Forum to expose businesses in Rwanda to opportunities in Zimbabwe,” he said.

Mr Majuru further said the conference would ride on previous successes and would allow the two countries to find areas of mutual interest and complement each other.

“The rationale for collaboration is that our two countries have a lot to offer each other, and we both enjoy unique endowments in economic areas.

“Over the past events, we have seen positive benefits stemming from companies collaborating, creating stronger linkages, and transferring knowledge.

“We have seen several success stories over the past few years, with the prominent one being the export of teaching skills and labour to Rwanda and the export of products from Zimbabwe into that market (Rwanda).

“We are expecting to ride on these successes as well as create new opportunities for businesses in Rwanda and Zimbabwe,” said Mr Majuru.

The Zimbabwean Government and business delegation would be led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Fredrick Shava,  accompanied by the Minister of Industry and Commerce, the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industries, and other Government ministries, departments, and agencies.

According to Mr Majuru, the inaugural event that was held in Kigali in 2021, then dubbed the Rwanda-Zimbabwe Trade and Investment Conference, saw the two countries sign several agreements to collaborate in areas of mutual economic interest.

Setting the tone for the inaugural forum and future programmes, President Paul Kagame said there was a need for the two countries to come together, pull resources and knowledge together, and reinforce one another.

The reciprocal event was held in 2022, with over 50 businesses from Rwanda engaging with potential partners in Zimbabwe as well as touring some companies to better understand local manufacturing processes.

“This year’s event will strengthen business ties as well as provide an opportunity for the governments and private sectors in the two countries to take stock of the progress achieved to date,” said Mr Majuru.

Herald

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