By: Times Reporter
Rwanda’s push for new export markets could get a huge boost at the inaugural Nordic-East Africa Trade Summit and Expo, which will bring together private sector players from the East African Community (EAC) bloc and Nordic countries counterparts.
The Nordic-East Africa Trade Summit and Expo 2015 slated for November 17-18 in Kampala, Uganda aims at opening new horizons of economic activity between the two regions by harnessing the potential of the EAC region, Rikke Adamsen, the chairperson of the Nordic Business Association, said in a statement. The conference is also aimed at creating a Nordic-East Africa business-to-business platform to share opportunities and knowledge for business growth in the East African market. She said private sector players from EAC will have a chance to interact and network with funders and potential business partners.
Adamsen said: “We look forward to Rwanda’s participation in the summit as it has a lot to offer the Nordic region in terms of trade and investments. Its reputation in pushing sanctions that deter corruption precedes it and bodes well with the Nordic investors’ policy of zero-tolerance to graft. The Rwandan Government’s pro-investment steadfastness to drive the economy through increased investments and exports is also commendable.” Adamsen said in an interview on Friday that this is an example of the numerous points of convergence that should be unearthed between business in East Africa and the Nordic region. “That is the aim of the summit, to be a launch pad for lasting trade relations between the two blocs.”
The event will give private sector players insights into market entry strategies in East Africa, mapping of financing and investment opportunities in region. It is an opportunity for regional businesses to network and create valuable, inter-continental relationships.”
The summit will attract participants from the agriculture and agribusiness, aquaculture, construction, health and ICT sectors. Others are from the infrastructure, oil and gas, renewable energy, trade and investment, and the transport sectors. Over 200 high-level delegates from the EAC bloc and the Nordic region countries – Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland – and EAC government representatives, Nordic ambassadors, CEOs, financial institutions and regulators will attend.
Josephat Mwaura, the KPMG East Africa chief, Johnni Kjelsgaard and founder and CEO of Growth Africa will speak at the summit. Others are Birgit Nevala, the business partnership coordinator for Finnpartnership in Finland, Jan Jensen, the DSV Air&Sea-Uganda chief, and John Ponsonby, the Deloitte East Africa director.
Shamilla Kara, the communication consultant for the Nordic embassies in Uganda, said the theme of the event focuses on accessing financing and investment advice and available opportunities. “Access to finance is a catalyst for growth,” she said, adding that financial institutions and regulators from within the EAC and Nordic regions will attend the conference.