The Democratic Republic of Congo’s President, Felix Tshisekedi, has stated that his country will offer a tax facility to UAE investors and sign an agreement to protect investments and enhance bilateral trade between the DRC and the United Arab Emirates.
“The DRC will sign an agreement between our two countries to protect investments coming into the DRC from the UAE. We will provide a tax facility between the UAE and the DRC to help enhance bilateral trade and further strengthen the security of these investments,” Tshisekedi said, ahead of the 6th edition of the Global Business Forum, which kicked off today.
“The IMF has projected the DRC to grow some 5% in 2021,” he stated. The DRC’s economy had already posted a positive economic growth – however modest – of 1.1% in 2020, while the African continent slipped by 4.9% in the same period.
The trade between the two nations has also been steadily rising, despite a 6% hiccup in 2020, falling from US$758.093M in 2019 to US$709.57M last year, the period most affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Our trade in 2019 focused on electronics, industrial materials, and medical equipment with the vision of increasing the volume of trade and to increase our cooperation and investment opportunities. We look forward to building on this foundation by signing mutual agreements which will promote investments and strong diplomatic relations for the years to come,” the president stated.
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“The UAE has proven to be a digital leader on the world platform, a strategic transit hub that connects Asia and the Arab world. The DRC must follow and investment in our human capital, infrastructure and digitising our government is key in order to become a significant player both in the African continent and across the globe,” he said.
“Connecting our two countries is imperative for growth as we look to ease travel between the DRC with Dubai and Abu Dhabi,” he remarked.
Regarding the tourism influx of DRC citizens into UAE’s main spots, he took the opportunity to nod toward a possible new airlink to connect Central and West African regions into the middle eastern hub.
“There is an opportunity for the UAE national airlines to expand their reach into central and western Africa and in particular the DRC. We look forward to a strong collaboration with the UAE and hopes for stronger and more fruitful ties between our two countries in the years to come,” he said.
The President said the DRC is looking to diversify its economy and improve “our infrastructure so we can increase the quality of life of our people”.
“The new generation of Congolese are innovative, hardworking, and driven to build their country,” he commented.
Tshisekedi considers that Africa will play a crucial role in the world’s energy transition, citing the ambitious goal of zero-carbon emission by 2050 as a possibility.
“Climate change will push between 32 million and 132 million into poverty, and that itself is a burden on the African continent. Climate Investment is an emerging market that would provide 62,000 new jobs and much more potential ahead,” he said.
“It is with critical importance that we take immediate actions for climate change. The African continent and the DRC vision of sustainable energy is a high priority,” the president said.
He said the investment in Sub-Saharan Africa for clean energy represents a US$783B opportunity, with the potential for 1,100 gigawatts of solar capacity, 350 gigawatts of hydropower and 109 gigawatts of wind energy.
“We have untapped resources and are ready to welcome and work with investors with the experience to make this a reality.
The Global Business Forum Africa, organised by Dubai Chamber, is a great opportunity to connect and build relationships with key partners with an invested interest in sub-Saharan Africa. The ideal platform for African leaders to convey their vision and objectives and communicate on the benefits of investing in Africa.
“Trillions of dollars is being invested into economies across the globe following the pandemic, and support for developing countries bouncing back from the pandemic is equally important. This post pandemic transition lies in Africa,” said Tshisekedi.
He said Africa has the key resources. With over 1.5 billion people across the continent with an average age below 25 years old, under the right leadership and the right vision, there is a new market for investment and growth with hardworking human capital.
“Global climate change is very real and with 200 million hectares of rainforest in the DRC, we hold the lungs of the world,” he said.
The president said the opportunities for financing green investments, clean energy employment, and renewable energy, the DRC can be a green manufacturing giant for a smarter, cleaner, and healthier world.
“The DRC has unanimous untapped potential in all areas of activity from infrastructure and agriculture to renewable energy and digital development. The DRC is entering a new chapter of change and we are charging forward to build a better economy and country for the Congolese people,” he said.