WELCOME REMARKS AT THE 1ST KENYA-RWANDA BUSINESS FORUM UNDER THE THEME: EXPANDING BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES BEYOND BORDERS. HON. VALENTINE RUGWABIZA, MINISTER-MINEAC SERENA HOTEL 11th July, 2015
CEO OF RDB;
CHAIRMAN OF KNCCI;
CHAIRMAN OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR FEDERATION;
BOARD MEMBERS OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR FEDERATION;
CEO, PRIVATE SECTOR FEDERATION;
MEMBERS OF THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY;
MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA FRATERNITY;
DISTINGUISHED CAPTAINS OF INDUSTRIES;
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN;
It is my great pleasure to be here with you today at this first Kenya -Rwanda Business Forum initiated by you – the captains of Industry. For those visiting Rwanda for the first time, a very warm welcome to you all. This forum is the outcome of a successful business engagement by our business-oriented President and the Kenyan Business Community. Through that engagement, it was proposed that a framework for regular engagements with private sector from the two partner countries should be strengthened. Here we are today and I am happy to note that this was driven by the two apex private sector bodies. I look forward to these opportunities where our private sectors engage and learn from each other; take advantage of the myriad opportunities and facilitate trade and investment in the region.
I wish to acknowledge and thank the leadership of our two private sector bodies for their unwavering commitment to fostering private sector development. I particularly want to thank them for putting this event together. I also wish to acknowledge our brothers and sisters from Kenya – karibuni sana kwetu! Kenya is a strong regional partner and importantly, a key business partner in Rwanda. We have many Kenyan brands in our country and in different sectors ranging from hospitality, retail, financial services, real estate and others, and we would like to deepen and accelerate this business partnership.
Distinguished Captains of Industries;
For this forum, we seek to facilitate business to business (B2B) engagements, address bottlenecks hampering our businesses, and enhance business growth through regional cooperation and integration.
I believe that this is the right time for stronger partnerships between our Private Sectors, given the strides made in the region and particularly because today, we have a very conducive business environment and abundant political will. The recent engagement and participation of the private sector at the Northern Corridor Integration Projects Summit is testament to the fact that our two countries mean business. Let us therefore seize this moment and translate the political will into tangible results.
The Private Sector in our two countries and in the region is truly the bedrock and foundation for economic transformation and prosperity. For this to happen, there has to be a stronger mechanism that fosters deeper engagement and partnership between businesses from the two countries and with Government.
Distinguished Captains of Industries;
I would like to end my brief remarks by inviting you to explore the numerous investment opportunities available in Rwanda. Rwanda is the easiest place to do business in the region and is committed to deepening the reform agenda in order to continuously support private sector to thrive, here and beyond borders.
Let me once again reiterate my call to all of us to take advantage of this new momentum. I wish to extend my heartfelt thanks to all of you, particularly the business men and women from Kenya for sparing your valuable time to be part of this timely and important forum, and for your dedication to the advancement of the EAC integration agenda. I would also like to acknowledge the important role the East African Business Council is playing in mobilizing regional private sector. I wish to particularly thank the Private Sector Federation - Rwanda, the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Rwanda Development Board for organizing this forum.
I look forward to the discussions and engagements to follow and wish you all continued business success.
Thank you for your Kind attention!