Rwanda, India get down to business; multiple trade pacts signed

As a part of extending and building a strong foundation for increased partnership, President Paul Kagame and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed of seven agreements that include a comprehensive trade cooperation framework, defence partnership and a culture exchange programme. Prime Minister Modi travelling with about 100 business leaders was honoured and hosted by President Kagame. 

President Paul Kagame and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a key ceremony witnessed the signing of the landmark agreements at Urugwiro yesterday evening. The Indian Prime Minister is in the country as a part of a multi national visit beginning with Rwanda. 

The visit and agreements are being hailed by business leaders as key milestones in the long-standing friendship and cooperation between Rwanda and India. Key officials from the two countries also signed an foundationary Memorandum of Understanding outlining cooperation in infrastructure, defence, agriculture and allied industries. To boost the cooperation the Exim Bank of India has also committed a $200m credit line which is expected to be used for the development of special economic zones and agriculture schemes.

In his address at a joint news conference g, President Kagame said that the pacts will enable focus on collaboration in priority areas. "Our two countries share similar ambitions for the prosperity and well-being of our citizens, and we appreciate India's support to Rwanda's development agenda. The agreements signed today will serve to further focus collaboration on priority areas," he said.

India will also be opening a new embassy in Kigali so as to provide support business opportunities and boost Indian trade cooperation. Indian companies looking for opportunities currently utilize platforms such as the Buildexpo Africa to introduce their products to the Rwandan market. Having an embassy will greatly encourage more Indian businesses to explore the country.

On India's partnership with Africa, President Kagame said that the African Continental Free Trade Area will provide opportunities for investment and trade between the African continent and India. Prime Minister Modi said that India is keen on improving cooperation with Rwanda for mutual socio-economic benefit.

India is open share experiences, capacities and expertise in skills development, technology, infrastructure development, financial management, rural development and ICT.

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