German-American billionaire Nicolas Berggruen has said Rwanda is one of the most suitable countries in Africa and globally for trade and international investments.
The billionaire investor and philanthropist is launching a commodity exchange in Rwanda. Such a facility is a place where commodities are traded.
“We are starting our first one in Rwanda” said the 51-year in interview with Bloomberg News editors. The interview is published today January 22, 2013.
Asked whether Rwanda even has basic infrastructure to handle such an investment, including garbage collection, Berggruen answered: “They have more than garbage collection: They have a monthly cleanup day where everybody goes into the street, including the president and the ministers.”
He added: “The place actually functions, crime is incredibly low. Though, yes, it’s had the most troubled past. So the turnaround from genocide to reasonably peaceful today is remarkable.”
Berggruen, a dual American-German citizen, is the founder and president of Berggruen Holdings and the Nicolas Berggruen Institute on Governance.
But what can Rwanda offer in terms of pricy commodities to attract international sales? Berggruen simply answers: “A lot of coffee.”
According to the Billionaire, his team has started five businesses in India that are all infrastructure-related: education, vocational schools, equipment rental for construction, car rental, and budget hotels. All the said infrastructure-related projects will support India’s growth, but commented that corruption is a setback to any success.
He said Singapore and Rwanda are some of the indicators of societies that are well governed.
“The biggest determinant in our lives is culture, where we are born, what the environment looks like,” he said in the interview. “But the second biggest determinant is probably governance, good governance or a certain kind of governance makes a huge difference in our lives.”
Berggruen was discussing with Bloomberg editors about his ideas and the book he co-authored, “Intelligent Governance for the 21st Century: A Middle Way Between West and East.”