BUJUMBURA July 21st (ABP) – The director of the Burundi Investment Promotion Authority (API), Mr Désiré Musharitse, launched, on Monday July 19, 2021 in Bujumbura, a quarterly report (April-May-June) as well as some annual achievements relating to the new investment code linked to the decentralization of API services and to companies registered at the one-stop-shop for company creation. He cited the implementation of the investment code by granting certificates of eligibility for benefits; monitoring and evaluation by granting temporary certificates. As achievements, he mentioned the promotion of investments and the promotion of export achievements as well as the organization of awareness and training workshops.
Regarding the new investment code, the director of the API listed the advantages granted to the certified investor, among others, the obligations of the investor during the period of validity of the eligibility certificate, the sanctions against the defaulting investor and the means of redress for those who feel wronged by the sanction.
Regarding the conditions of access to tax advantages, Mr. Musharitse clarified that to be eligible for the advantages of the investment code; the investment project must be at least 500,000 USD for foreign investors and the equivalent in Burundi franc for Burundian investors in the Bujumbura City Council.
For this new code, he also indicated that the API will change the name to be called “ADB” (Burundi Development Authority) which, he said, “will be a single agency for all investors in looking for business opportunities in Burundi”. Mr. Musharitse said that the general mission of ADB will be to promote and facilitate local and foreign investments as well as exports, and improve the business climate in order to attract more investors to Burundi. He also indicated other ADB missions such as the registration of any natural person having the status of trader, any commercial and cooperative company under Burundian law as well as any branch person of a foreign company and ensuring their monitoring.
To facilitate customers, Mr. Musharitse said that API has opened another agency in Gitega, the political capital of the country, in the service of the registration of companies and natural persons and in the service of receiving application files for granting of advantages in order to bring the public services of the State closer to the people in need of them. Regarding registration, the API director said that ten companies have been registered with an employment projection equivalent to 24 jobs.
In order to track the destination of exempt goods and facilitate the work of processing temporary certificate of compliance requests, Mr. Musharitse said the API is conducting field visits to verify whether companies have respected their commitments. He also added that API organized business trip this quarter to Kayanza, Ngozi and Gitega provinces to find investment opportunities in the agricultural and tourism sectors.
As for foreign promotion, the API management has shown that it has made a significant contribution by supporting the foreign ministry in its activities to promote Burundi’s image. He also indicated that the API represented Burundi at the first edition of the 2021 forum of investment promotion authorities in Africa and Egypt (in sharm el Sheikh). He added that the forum’s goal was to bring together API actors and various stakeholders to examine the economic impact on investment related to Covid-19 and discuss measures to be taken to mitigate the consequences.
In terms of local promotion, he showed that several activities were organized such as the business week and the fair of products made in Burundi, an awareness workshop on investment opportunities through the capital market. He also cited the 3rd edition of the awareness campaign in universities in the interior of the country to inform students about business opportunities in Burundi, encourage them not to rely solely on the government in terms of jobs and the organization of a workshop on maritime transport. He also reported on the production and airing of an RTNB NINDE program on API activities for local promotion. As part of the promotion of exports, Mr. Musharitse recalled that the API has carried out activities such as the production of a documentary on exporting companies or an export potential of the horticultural sector. He also pointed out the organization an awareness-raising workshop on export opportunities and the simplified trade regime.
As for the challenges, he indicated that they are not lacking, adding that with the new regulation of the ADB, they will be able to meet those challenges so that it is an autonomous agency, he explained. Asked about the added value of the visit of the President of Tanzania, the director of API said that the President of Tanzania has invited Burundian investors to integrate in Tanzania. The API recommended to the Burundian media to increase the emissions concerning that new investment code.