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New Found Friendship Of Rwanda And Colombia

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President Paul Kagame and his Colombian counterpart, Iván Duque, have established bilateral cooperation for their two countries that previously had very little contact.

“President Kagame held talks with President Ivan Duque of Colombia. The two leaders discussed ways to further strengthen bilateral ties between Rwanda and Colombia,” the Rwandan Presidency said on Wednesday. The two Presidents met at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Rwanda and Colombia have a lot in common that would trigger establishing a host of cooperation agreements.

The business opportunities that make Colombia a privileged destination lie in its different economic sectors:iInfrastructure, energy, the information technology and creative industries, hospitality and tourism infrastructure, real estate, agricultural products and food production, manufacturing industries, and healthcare services and life sciences.

Colombia hosts an annual investment  summit, which, according to government, is a magnet for foreign direct investment (FDI), crucial for Colombia’s economic reactivation. Rwanda which also is seeking investments could definitely benefit from this Colombian investment summit usually held in late October.

According to the Colombian government statistics, in 2020 Colombia Investment Summit closed with 2,000 business appointments and 15 announcements with investment projects totaling U$ 1.34 million. This amount represented a 34% increase compared to 2019’ summit results.

There were 1,900 participants and 270 Colombian projects taking part in the event.  last year more than 300 companies from around the world took part in the event.

The country’s investment promotion agency claims,“since August 2018 and up to August of 2021, ProColombia has supported the arrival of 598 investment projects worth around U$25.4 billion, which have resulted in over 265,000 new jobs.”

Details also indicate that Colombia has as many as 17 free trade agreements with 65 countries around the world, including the United States, Canada, and the European Union.

Colombia is the second country in Latin America with the highest number of free trade zones (120). In these commercial spaces that operate under a special regime, international companies have different benefits.

For example, the exemption from Value Added Tax (VAT) and tariffs for the importation of goods to free trade zones. Another example is the VAT exemption on sales made from such free trade zones. And finally, the application of a special rate of 20% of the income tax, and the freedom to sell locally.

Meanwhile, in April (26-27) Colombia hosted Energy & Mining Summit 2022 that focused on the country’s energy transition agenda, hydrogen route & fuels of the future; copper, gold, silver and phosphate sustainable mining; and conventional resource potential.

According to organizers, the summit attracts multiple government authorities, the energy and mining private sectors, SMEs, innovation and technology providers, legal players, consulting firms, as well as energy and mining national and international investors. Rwanda would benefit from such a summit as it seeks to modernize the mining sector.