RWANDA and Zimbabwe are set to deepen economic ties when the governments and business leaders in the two countries engage during the high-level third Rwanda-Zimbabwe Business Forum set for next month in Kigali.
The event, which will run from March 18 to 20, is organised by the country’s trade development and promotion agency, ZimTrade, and the Rwanda Development Board.
It is expected to strengthen bilateral trade relations between Zimbabwe and Rwanda, according to a statement released by ZimTrade yesterday.
Following the successful hosting of the previous editions of the business forum, ZimTrade said the event would provide a window for the two countries to explore new opportunities for collaboration in tourism, investment, and trade, marking a significant step forward in strengthening economic ties between the two African nations.
The inaugural event was held in Kigali in 2021, then dubbed the Rwanda-Zimbabwe Trade and Investment Conference, which saw the two countries signing several agreements to collaborate in areas of mutual economic interest.
Setting the tone of the inaugural forum and future programmes, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda said there was need for the two countries to come together, pool resources and knowledge, and reinforce one another.
In 2022, a similar event was held with over 50 businesses from Rwanda engaging with potential partners in Zimbabwe, as well as tour 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,” the statement read in part.
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ZimTrade chief executive officer Allan Majuru said this year’s programme complemented 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,” he said.
“President Emmerson 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.”
Majuru further said the conference would ride on previous successes and would allow for the two countries to find areas of mutual interest and complement each other.
“The rational 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 knowledge transfer.
“We have seen several success stories over the past few years, with the prominent one being export of teaching skills and labour to Rwanda and export of products from Zimbabwe into that market (Rwanda).