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President Paul Kagame is today afternoon scheduled to speak at the opening ceremony of the Eighth Vibrant Gujarat Summit, a global business forum in India. The President will also hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister Modi as well as meet with the Minister for Gujarat State, Vijay Rupani.

President Kagame in India yesterday
President Kagame in India yesterday

The bi-annual Vibrant Gujarat Summit which opens today is an investment promotion platform aiming towards inclusive and sustainable development.

At the forum, Rwanda is taking part at the trade show with a seminar scheduled for tomorrow afternoon according to the summit’s agenda.

The bi-annual meeting which started in 2003 has over the years become reputable in the showcase of investment opportunities, knowledge sharing, creating networks and sealing cooperation agreements.

By convening policy makers and business leaders from across the world, the forum also creates a platform to address current national and global challenges facing corporations and economies.

The 2017 edition is under the theme; “Sustainable Economic and Social Development,” and is bringing together Heads of State and Governments, policy makers, heads of multinational companies, academicians and experts, as well as major Indian companies.

Among other objectives, the summit aims to position the host state Gujarat as the most socially and economically developed state in the Asian nation and increase India’s competitiveness.

Over 2,500 delegates from about 100 countries are expected at the summit with over two million people expected to visit the concurrent trade show at exhibition grounds where over 2,000 companies from 25 sectors will showcase their products.

Rwanda-India ties

Rwanda and India have enjoyed warm bilateral and business relations over the years.

Over the 5 year period between 2011-2015, bilateral trade has been valued at $526 million

According to the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), between 2011 and 2016, Rwanda registered 66 investment projects from India valued at $317.5 million which have translated too over 3800 jobs in various fields including telecommunication, hospitality and education.

“The State of Gujarati, due its proximity, has been the India’s most prominent source of business and investments into Africa, and especially into Eastern Africa,” RDB chief executive Francis Gatare said.

“Rwanda is coming here to reinforce its position as an entry point for Indian businesses into East Africa and leverage an enhanced strategic cooperation between the two countries that will strengthen the realisation of this objective.

“As Rwanda pushes further into the strategy to increase Made in Rwanda, the focus here is going to be manufacturing. Business people from Rwanda have come to Gujarat to create partnerships in the field of manufacturing for many of the products Rwanda is currently importing.”

Other heads of government expected at the summit include, President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Antonio Costa, the Prime Minister of Portugal, Aleksandar Vucic Prime Minister of Serbia as well as Deputy Prime Ministers of Russia and Poland.

The New Times