Indian Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), Sh.K.H. Muniyappa, visited Rwanda with the aim to discuss ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation for MSMEs development in Rwanda.
Muniyappa held discussions with the Minister of Trade and Industry François Kanimba on the implementation status of a Memorandum of Understanding signed between Rwanda and India in 2006, related to their cooperation in the field of MSMEs Development.
Among other aspects presented in this MoU, include MSMEs capacity building in terms of management and technical skills and exchanging business missions in order to initiate technology transfer and sustainable business alliances between India and Rwanda Enterprises.
In his introductory remarks, Hon.Minister Muniyappa noted that the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise sector in India is a nursery of entrepreneurship, often driven by individual creativity and innovation.
This sector contributes 8% of the country’s GDP, 45% of the manufactured output and 40% of its exports.
“The MSMEs provide employment to about 60 million persons through 26 million enterprises composed by 7.5 million of manufacturing enterprises and 18.6 million of service enterprise. 51.8% of 26 million enterprises are rural enterprises and 7.4% are women enterprises, “He said.
Muniyappa added that the Indian Government is willing to strengthen its current support to Rwanda in terms of SME development with a special focus on SMEs Capacity building, establishment of appropriate technology demonstration center and Community processing center and exchange of experts in specific selected clusters, among others.
Minister Muniyappa was accompanied by twenty businessmen from India.
The Government of Rwanda has adopted a clustering strategy to serve as a vehicle for enhancing competitiveness among SMEs.
Currently 10 Product Clusters have been identified; they are wood, honey, spices, horticulture, textile& tailoring, ceramics, minerals, essential oil, fish and meat; and their competitiveness studies are ongoing.
The competitiveness study for textile and tailoring cluster was awarded by one Indian consultant company.
In his remarks The Minister of Trade and Industry François Kanimba welcomed the cooperation of the Government of India in SME development
“Our two countries agreed upon pursuing the implementation of the joint action plan on MSME development while continuing to encourage Indian investors to invest in Rwanda especially in sectors that have potential in developing the Rwandan economy,” Kanimba noted.
In addition, The Government of Rwanda and the Government of India has signed another MoU on the establishment of a Food Testing Laboratory (FTL) in November 2013.
The new Food Testing Laboratory to a tune of USD$ 2.1m with the support of the Government of India under the 2nd India-Africa Summit Forum will be launched in January 2013.
The major objectives of the facility is to promote export by ensuring that local food processing industries produce safe and high quality food that meets international standards.
The laboratory will get technical backstopping from the International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) on behalf of the government of India and RBS scientists who will have received training in India in a similar laboratory.