Khaleej Times | 12 October 2021
Congo set to offer tax facility to UAE investors
By Muzaffar Rizvi
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will offer a tax facility to the UAE investors and sign an agreement to protect investments and boost bilateral trade between the two countries, says its President.
Felix Tshisekedi, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, said his country is constantly seeking opportunities and investors from across the globe to come in and invest in the country.
“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 boost bilateral trade and further strengthen the security of these investments,” Tshisekedi said an exclusive agreement ahead of Global Business Forum starting today.
Tshisekedi said the DRC economy is resilient and has shown growth amid the pandemic of 1.1 per cent while the African continent has shown 4.9 per cent decline in economic productivity.
“The IMF has projected the DRC growth for 2021 at about five per cent,” he said.
The DRC-UAE trade development has been increasing progressively since 2017. It had decreased by six per cent in 2020 amid the pandemic of $709.57 million after it had reached a peak of $758.093 million by the end of 2019.
“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 said.
He said Africa has come a long way and feels left behind in its infrastructure, energy, and digitalisation.
“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 added.
The president said DRC citizens are some of the most frequent travellers to the UAE for tourism from Africa, but without direct access.
“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.
Tshisekedi said the DRC is looking to diversify its economy and build up “our infrastructure so we can increase the quality of life” for the Congolese population.
“The new generation of Congolese are innovative, hardworking, and driven to build their country,” he said.
He was of the view that the world is aiming for zero carbon emission by 2050 and Africa is the continent that will be a great source of this transition for energy and electric vehicles.
“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 $783 billion 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.
Global Business Forum Africa, a great opportunity
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.