• An investor-friendly attitude: The Government of Rwanda is acutely aware that achieving the objectives of its Vision 2020 requires a substantial contribution by foreign investors, who need to be welcomed and assisted on the ground. This awareness is reflected in several ways in the investment regime. Starting a business is much easier and faster in Rwanda, according to the World Bank, than it is in any of its neighbors. So is registering property. There are no sectors that are barred to foreign investors and no restrictions on the percentage of equity they might hold. The Constitution of 2003 also guarantees investors against expropriation, except in the public interest and with fair and prior compensation, which may be repatriated.
• Varied opportunities: Rwanda offers investment opportunities in just about every field, many focused on the local market and some on markets abroad. There are opportunities in manufacturing, for each type of investors targeting the local market, and the regional one, to which Rwanda’s strategic location provides good access. There are opportunities in agriculture: in the processing and export of coffee and tea, as well as in the virtually unexploited potential in horticulture and herbal products, where the terrain and climate are strong advantages. Then there is tourism, where the great asset is the mountain gorillas in Virunga but there is also a great diversity of fauna and flora and Lake Kivu in the west. Finally, the Government has made information and communication technology (ICT) a high priority and is in the process of developing a TechnoPark near Kigali to facilitate investment in this area.
• Soft assets: There are some very special features of Rwanda that are little known abroad, where the overriding association of the country is with the genocide of 1994. For one thing, it offers a safe and peaceful environment, with very low levels of crime (not something that can be said of many countries in sub-Saharan Africa). For another, there is very little corruption in the country, another distinct advantage among African and indeed among developing countries generally. For a third, it has a strongly development oriented Government, with a coherent vision of the future and a serious commitment to sustained reform. Lastly, Rwanda is an exceptionally beautiful country with a temperate climate (on account of its elevation), which would be very appealing to most foreign investors as a place to live in.
On Declaring Items into Rwanda, Tax Exemption & Import Restrictions visit: