MPs, private sector discuss impact of doing business reforms on investment climate

A little over a month ago, Rwanda was ranked the second best place to do business in Africa according to the World Bank’s Doing Business 2014 report; second only to Mauritius. In addition, Rwanda has jumped 118 places globally in the last six years.

This did not happen by accident, participants at a joint parliamentary, private sector conference on the role of reforms in making Rwanda business friendly were told.

Mr. Benjamin Gasamagera, Chairman of the Private Sector Federation thanked the government for enacting “fair laws that have made Rwanda an prime investment location”. He explained that the reforms had built trust in the business community to invest more and created condition for easy access to capital especially through commercial banks operating in Rwanda.

Senator Michel Rugema explained that since 2006, parliament has passed 20 business related laws including the law on starting business, governing credit information system, commercial recovery and settling of issues arising from insolvency on security interests in movable property, collective investment scheme among others.

“These laws are made to facilitate people and we should make sure they are able to understand them in order to benefit,” said Senator Rugema. He also called for increased regional efforts to pass similar reforms that facilitate business.

Senate President Jean Damascene Ntawukuriryayo told participants that the reforms should be translated into economic growth which in turn meant reduction in poverty levels. “Our aim as a country is 11.5% annual growth. It is ambitious but it is possible and it requires us to take advantage of the environment created by these reforms. Everyone, starting with us as individuals, needs to do their part.”

The World Bank’s ease of doing business index ranks economies from 1 to 189. For each economy the ranking is calculated as the simple average of the percentile rankings on each of the 10 topics including ease of starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting investors paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.

Discussions continue tomorrow on how to capitalise on the business reforms in each sector

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