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    Rwanda, China set out new areas of cooperation

    APA-Kigali (Rwanda)

    Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed to step up bilateral cooperation by outlining new areas of partnership.

    Kagame on Friday held a meeting with Jinping in Beijing, where they discussed different avenues of cooperation between the two nations, on the first day of his two-day official visit.

    Among the areas the two countries agreed to work closely in include encouraging Chinese firms to partner with Rwandan companies in manufacturing.

    The partnership will also extend to modernisation of agriculture by strengthening personal exchanges and technical training.

    The technical training will see teams of experts work with local agriculture stakeholders on the exploitation on tropical crops, cash crops, aqua farming and value addition of farmers’ output.

    The two countries also agreed to work closely in infrastructure development through training in hydro and rural electrification as well as financing to boost the development of the transport and energy sectors.

    Other areas where Rwanda and China intend to partner in strengthening bilateral ties include tourism development, defense and peacekeeping activities and cultivating deeper political and mutual trust.

    Kagame said Rwanda appreciates warm ties with China as well as its contribution to national development in aspects such as infrastructure development.

    “Rwanda is consistently improving ease of doing business, an important component of our economic growth strategy is manufacturing. We wish to collaborate further on industrial development and encourage Chinese companies to invest in Rwanda’s manufacturing sector,” Kagame said.

    President Jinping said the decades-long cooperation between the two countries ought to continue for the benefit of citizens of both countries.

    The two countries have enjoyed relations for about 45 years with formal cooperation initiated in 1971.

    China is one of Rwanda’s biggest sources of foreign direct investments, mainly in the manufacturing and real estate sectors.

    Between 2013 and 2016, the Rwanda Development Board registered investments valued at about $113.6 million from China, which are estimated to have created over 1400 jobs.

    In July last year, the two countries signed an agreement for a $76 million concessional loan for the upgrade of 54.56 kilometres of Kigali urban roads and a grant of about $42 million for the extension of a hospital, both under the Forum for China Africa Cooperation.

    The two projects are currently in progress.

    An estimated 1,381 Rwandans live in China, with a majority of them being students in higher learning institutions.


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