The Telegraph
Thursday , May 15 , 2014
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Rwanda eager to throw a tea party

Ernest Rwamucyo in Calcutta on Wednesday. Picture by Kishor Roy Chowdhury

Calcutta, May 14: Rwanda has sought Indian investment in its tea sector. The central African country wants Indian companies to either acquire its tea estates and factories or ink partnerships.

Real estate, agriculture, energy and tourism are the other sectors where Rwanda is looking to step up ties with India.

“The government has divested the tea sector in Rwanda. So, we are looking for Indian investors. It could be through partnerships with local players. But we are encouraging full acquisitions. We are expanding tea gardens and planting new ones and also building tea factories. We have five tea processing factories coming up,” Ernest Rwamucyo, the High Commissioner of Rwanda in India, said at a session organised by the CII eastern region here today.

Indian tea major McLeod Russel has a significant presence in Rwanda, a market known for its crush, tear and curl variety of tea.

Bilateral trade between India and Rwanda stood at around $48 million in 2013. Over the last few years, trade between the two countries grew at a rapid pace of around 40 per cent year-on-year.

Punj Lloyd is investing in a a peat power project in Rwanda, Rwamucyo said.

Rwanda is also beefing up infrastructure in the Kigali special economic zone. It has offered around 98 hectares of fully serviced land with roads, energy, water and Internet, while another 178 hectares will be developed in the second phase.

The country is also upbeat about the East African Community (EAC) arrangement, an inter-governmental organisation that has Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda within its fold.

The EAC aims to build in phases a common market, a customs union, a monetary union and finally a political federation. Such an arrangement will give investors access to around 130 million people of the five countries just by operating in Rwanda.