South Africa opens trading door to Rwanda
Following discussions in Kigali, Rwanda it has been announced that South Africa will open its markets to Rwandan trade and business in a mutually beneficial partnership.
The idea is to open up investment opportunities between the two, to benefit from bilateral trade, with the agricultural industry in Rwanda expected to especially prosper from the new initiative.
South African High Commissioner, George N. Twala was a pivotal figure at the meeting in pushing through this agreement and is enthusiastic about the strides being made by both countries.
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"At government level we have done our job, the challenge is for both of our people to take the struggle forward," he said.
To achieve the ambitions of both nations, Twala now expects governments from either side to remove any obstacles or barriers to conform with the deal; especially relating to the private sector where potential hindrances have been identified.
"As a government, we will ensure that we remove all obstacles, so it is up to the private sector to tell us about the obstacles,"Twala continued.
From a Rwandan point of view, the main aim is to bypass the slow progression to economic stability and to meet neighbouring nations in the middle-income sector.
"The first advantage of this relation is to create trade awareness and help our business people have a better way to do business in South Africa," said Hannington Namara, Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Private Sector.
"Getting our products to a certain standard in form of quality and packaging to suit their requirement is a challenge we have to take on as Rwandans," he continued.
Despite the seemingly positive steps being taken through this scheme, many business leaders in Rwanda are skeptical over the future success of it, highlighting an ongoing difference in market ideals between South Africa and Rwanda.
Many believe that Rwanda are not fully able to compete on South Africa’s level as yet, so may be unable to capitalise fully on the agreements formed at governmental level.