Kampala, 8th October 2010
Ladies and Gentlemen
1. On behalf of the people and the Government of BURUNDI and on my own behalf, I would like to take this opportunity to thank His Excellency Yoweri K. MUSEVENI, the President of the Republic of Uganda, the Government and our brotherly people of Uganda for the excellent welcome since our arrival in this beautiful country.
2. I thank also Uganda high authorities for the invitation sent to Burundi to take part in these activities of the Uganda International Trade Fair. His Excellency Pierre NKURUNZIZA, the President of Burundi had planned to come himself to attend these ceremonies but due to other pressing commitments he sent me to convey his warm greetings to his Counterpart His Excellency Yoweri KAGUTA MUSEVENI and to all Ugandan people.
3. It is an illustration of the excellent multiple relations of cooperation and solidarity between the Republics of Burundi and Uganda. Good relationship between Burundi and Uganda exists since many decades, even before the period of independences. This was performed mainly through the migration of Burundians to search for work, before the development of modern practices of formal cooperation. This is also an obvious intention of the authorities of the Republic of Uganda at the top level to contribute to the promotion of trade, goods and services between our respective States. It is also an appropriate means for exchanging experiences and expertise between economic operators from different backgrounds and the development of socio-economic sectors.
4. Burundi highly appreciates this kind of activities that allow the interaction of people and the promotion of the development of industry, agriculture, livestock, craft, culture, linguistic and many others. It is also an appropriate channel for the implementation of agreements, protocols and memoranda of understanding signed between the States in respect of economic cooperation and trade.
5. In this regard, it is my pleasure to note that agreements covering areas as diverse as trade, air transport, trade, culture, science and technology, energy, mining, security, agriculture, livestock, fishery, education, health etc… were signed between the Government of the Republic of Burundi and the Government of the Republic of Uganda. We would like all the agreements and protocols to come into effect as soon as possible for a harmonious development of multiple exchanges between our two countries.
6. The implementation of these agreements, particularly through the ones of joint projects and programs of general interest, will contribute positively to the promotion of regional integration policy in its many forms.
7. So through the development of trade, it will be strengthened the regional groupings of which our countries are all members such as the East African Community, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, International Conference on the Great Lakes Region and the Economic Community of the Great Lakes.
Ladies and Gentlemen
8. Since 2005, Burundi is progressing positively towards democracy, reconciliation and stability. Today, peace and security are a reality throughout the territory of Burundi. The success in organizing general elections namely municipal elections, presidential, parliamentary, and senatorial and villages or quarters elections is an illustration of peace we have and the determination of Burundians to walk together towards peace and development.
9. I take this pleasant opportunity offered to me to express gratitude and appreciation of the Government of the Republic of Burundi and Burundian people, the whole international community, friend countries including yours, regional and international organizations for the manifested support by participating actively in the observation of previous elections in Burundi.
10. The conditions and climate for business promotion and investment in Burundi are a reality and the Government of Burundi is making every effort and will do all possible to consolidate security, essential condition for investment, free movement of goods and persons and the promotion of business and services.
Ladies and Gentlemen
11. Burundi is a conducive country for the promotion of business and investment and in several sectors of national life. It should be mentioned as an example, tourism, trade, agriculture and animal husbandry, industry, food processing, manufacturing, transportation both by air, road and lake, infrastructure, goods and services, etc.
12. Furthermore, to enable the promotion of investment both public and private, the Government has introduced new instruments and related services including the enactment of the Investment Code which provides facilities and benefits to investors, upgrading the Bujumbura Port, the creation and implementation of Burundi Revenue Authority and the Burundi Agency for the Promotion of Investment (API).
13. This Agency assists and guides Burundian and foreign investors as well in identifying projects and income-generating sectors and in the implementation of the processes required to invest in Burundi. Also, the legendary hospitality of Burundians is another major factor for promoting investment in Burundi.
14. We invite traders, associations of businessmen and businesswomen, industrialists, artists, and anyone interested to take advantage of favourable conditions in Burundi to come and invest in. The Government of Burundi and its people welcome you. We welcome entrepreneurs and investors who want to benefit from the dividends of peace and stability by investing in Burundi.
15. Burundi has been able to restore peace through the efforts and tireless support of the wider international community, friend countries and the regional initiative in particular. It is for this reason that I take this opportunity to once again pay on behalf of the Government of Burundi and in my own name, a tribute to all the eminent personalities who accompanied Burundi during the process of Inter Burundian negotiations which enabled its successful completion. Among them, I have the honour to name His Excellency Yoweri KAGUTA MUSEVENI for his effective involvement in the inter Burundian peace process in Burundi. The Government of Burundi and its people renew their compliments and gratitude for the noble work.
16. Allow me to end up my speech by expressing my wish for the next International Trade Fair to be held in Burundi, which will provide another opportunity for participants to explore opportunities for business development, investment and trade. It is on these words that I officially declare open this International Trade Fair.
Thank you for your kind attention !