1. Sustained High Economic growth
- Over 8% average year-on-year real GDP growth rate since 2007 till date, stable inflation and currency depreciation.
- GDP growth rate one of the highest among African economies and neighboring countries.
2. Robust Governance
3. Access to Markets
- Market of over 12 million people with a rapidly growing middle class
- Rwanda is a hub for a rapidly integrating Arica: It is centrally located in the region and is part of East African Community (EAC) Common Market and Customers Union with market potential of over 132 million people. It is also signatory to the 2018 Kigali African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (ACFTA) currently being implemented under the African Union.
4. Investor Friendly Climate
5. Untapped Investment Opportunities
- Vast opportunities for investment, particularly in the following sectors:
- Infrastructure: Opportunities in rail, maritime and air transportation to further open up Rwanda to the rest of the world as an economic hub.
- Agriculture: Rwanda’s main economic activity accounting for about 33% of GDP. Potential for growth through increased productivity and value addition for both export and local consumption.
- Energy: Big opportunities in both on and off grid power generation. Goal is to have universal electricity access by 2024 from the current 51% access.
- Tourism: Currently Rwanda’s leading foreign exchange earner with a diverse range of attractions and products suitable for both foreign and local tourists. Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Events (MICE) sector growing fast as well.
- Information and communication Technology: Priority sector for Vision 2020, Kigali Innovation City being developed, home to Carnegie Mellon University Africa and others such as Africa Leadership University and the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS Rwanda).
- Other attractive sectors include Real estate and construction, financial services and mining
Preferential trade regimes
Rwanda enjoys non-reciprocal preferential treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), the U.S. African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), and the Everything-but-Arms (EBA) preferential scheme of the European Union.
Rwanda is a member of the African Union (AU), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Economic Community of Great Lakes Countries (CEPGL) and the East African Community (EAC).
In addition, it has bilateral agreements with individual countries, including China, Malaysia, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Republic of Israel, Morocco and Thailand.
The establishment of the Customs Union has implied the harmonization of tariffs on imports from non-EAC countries (the common external tariff – CET); the elimination of tariffs on goods originating from the EAC states and fulfilling the conditionality stipulated under EAC Rules of Origin (elimination of internal tariffs); the removal of non-tariff barriers (NTBs); and the harmonization of common rules of origin.
Rwanda also has double taxation Treaties with Barbados, Belgium, Jersey, Mauritius, Morocco, Singapore, South Africa and the EAC partner states.
Business opportunity – Large market size
+12 000 000 people
- EAC (East African Community) :
+132 000 000 people
- COMESA (Common Market for Eastern & Southern Africa) :
+390 000 000 people
- CEPEGL (Economic Community of Great Lakes Countries) :
+84 000 000 people
With the recently approved investment law, Rwanda has an array of investment incentives for investors ready to invest in the key priority sectors as indicated below:
- A seven-year tax holiday for investments in the following specific sectors: manufacturing, tourism, health, exports, energy projects producing at least 25 MW (excluding investors having an engineering procurement contract [EPC] executed on behalf of the government of Rwanda, and information and communications technology (ICT) with an investment involving manufacturing, assembly, and service. The investment should be of at least 50 million United States dollars (USD) and the investor should contribute at least 30% of this investment in the form of equity in these sectors.
- A preferential CIT rate of 0% for international companies with their regional offices in Rwanda and that fulfill certain requirements.
- A preferential CIT rate of 15% for registered investors undertaking (i) exportation; (ii) energy generation, transmission, and distribution; (iii) transport of goods and related activities; (iv) mass transportation of passengers and goods; (v) ICT; (vi) financial services, including global business activities, private equity funds, fund management, wealth management, mutual funds, collective investment schemes, captive insurance schemes, venture capital, and asset backed securities; (vii) building of low-cost housing; and (viii) any another priority economic sector as may be determined by an Order of the Minister of Finance.
- Exemption from capital gains tax.
- Five-year tax holiday for micro-finance institutions.
- Customs exemption on products used in Export Processing Zones (EPZs).
- Prompt settlement of VAT refunds.
There are, however, certain conditions that have to be fulfilled to obtain the incentives above.
- Fast online business and investment registration (takes less than a day).
- Established Re-investment and Aftercare Department to resolve investor issues after registration and fast track project implementation.
- Assistance with tax-related services and exemptions
- Assistance to access utilities (water & electricity)
- Assistance with obtaining visas and work permits
- One stop center that provides notary services
- Proactive outreach platforms to all players in the private sector such as the Investor Open Day; the Quarterly CEO Forum; Business Excellence Awards; Investment Promotion Roadshows at district and provincial level, and Site visits to businesses.