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Fact Sheet: United States-Rwanda Bilateral Investment Treaty

February 19, 2008

"This will be America's first such treaty in Sub-Saharan Africa in nearly a decade. It reflects our shared commitment to systems of fair and open investment. It will bring more capital to Rwanda's dynamic and growing economy."

– President George W. Bush

Today, President Bush and Rwandan President Kagame signed the United States-Rwanda Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT). The BIT will enter into force after ratification by the United States and Rwanda, following approval of the Treaty by the United States Senate and the Rwanda Parliament. This is the first BIT concluded between the United States and a Sub-Saharan African country since 1998.*

The United States-Rwanda BIT will provide legal protections for U.S. and Rwandan investors that underscore the two countries' shared commitment to open investment and trade policies. These protections include nondiscriminatory treatment, free transfer of investment-related funds, prompt, adequate, and effective compensation in the event of an expropriation, and transparency in governance. The BIT also gives investors the right to bring investment disputes to neutral, international arbitration panels.

The United States-Rwanda BIT will reinforce the Rwandan government's achievements in rebuilding the Rwandan economy after the 1994 genocide.

  • The Rwandan government has opened its economy, improved its business climate, and embraced trade and investment as a means to boost economic development and help alleviate poverty. As a result, the Rwandan economy has grown by over 9 percent per year since 1995.
  • The United States-Rwanda BIT will reinforce these efforts and promote new foreign investment that will help Rwanda prosper.

Our bilateral economic relationship with Rwanda is strong and growing. While the current level of U.S. investment in Rwanda is modest, several large U.S. companies conduct business with Rwandan firms and are exploring trade-related initiatives with the Rwandan Government.

  • Bilateral trade flows increased by 40 percent in 2007, totaling nearly $29 million. U.S. imports from Rwanda were valued at $13 million during this period, up 43 percent from 2006. U.S. exports to Rwanda totaled $16 million in 2007, up 37 percent over 2006.
  • Products from Rwanda are eligible for duty-free access to the United States under the African Growth and Opportunity Act and the Generalized System of Preferences.

* The United States currently has five BITs in force with Sub-Saharan African countries: Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, the Republic of Congo, and Senegal.

George W. Bush, Fact Sheet: United States-Rwanda Bilateral Investment Treaty Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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