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Rwanda attracts US one billion dollars
foreign direct investment in 2017

KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- Rwandan government on Thursday announced that the country recorded Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) worth 1.041 billion U.S. dollars in 2017 compared to 650.4 million dollars in 2016.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Clare Akamanzi, chief executive officer of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), said that foreign investments increased immensely last year due to the country’s continued effort to provide conducive environment to investors.

According to Akamanzi, in 2017 the country registered investments worth 1.675 billion dollars, both local and foreign, compared to 1.160 billion dollars in 2016.

“In the last 10 years, registered investments in Rwanda have jumped from 800 million dollars in 2007 to 1.675 billion dollars in 2017. This is an increase of more than 100 percent in only a decade. This is evidence that Rwanda is being seen more and more as a great place to do business,” she said.

Akamanzi pointed out that the country’s ambition is to create 150,000 off-farm jobs a year, adding that 38,261 jobs were created last year in the sectors of infrastructure, services, manufacturing, tourism, construction and real estate, agriculture, ICT and mining.

According to RDB, three sectors that attracted the most investments were construction and real estate (638 million dollars), followed by mining (267.3 million dollars) and lastly infrastructure (203 million dollars).

Rwanda targets to reach upper middle income status by 2035 and has boosted investment opportunities by introducing a new investment law.

The new investment law, launched in Kigali in 2015, replaced one enacted in 2005, and sought to enable the country to be more accessible to foreign businesses.

In the World Bank Group report, Doing Business 2017, Rwanda ranked 56th out of 190 countries’ economies in ease of doing business.

Rwanda has also opened strategic business offices in different countries like Turkey, Canada, the United Kingdom, U.S., South Africa, Singapore and China, with the aim of promoting investments in those countries.



Volkswagen to invest US 20 million dollars in Rwandan plant

KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- German automaker Volkswagen (VW) on Thursday announced plan to invest 20 million U.S. dollars for the first phase of its car assembly plant operation in Rwanda.

Cars to be assembled during the phase one include VW Polo and VW Passat for sedans and VW Teramont for SUVs, said Thomas Schafer, managing director of Volkswagen of South Africa, at a news conference in the Rwandan capital Kigali.

“We are planning to spend at least 20 million dollars for phase one of our operation and we are targeting to create up to 1,000 jobs,” he said, adding that the initial products will be out mid this year.

According to the agreement signed between VW and the Rwandan government in 2016, the car manufacturer will start assembling cars in Rwanda that are affordable, low on fuel consumption and gas emission.

The German carmaker has already opened car assembly plants in Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria.



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