The iGuides platform provides investors online with updated and hard-to-find information on costs, wages and taxes, as well as laws, procedures and contacts in target countries and territories. The experiences of current investors in the country are also included.
The iGuides replace UNCTAD’s previous practice of publishing paper investment guides for different countries, allowing significant cost and time savings and enabling governments to get the right information closer to the intended investor audience. Further, because governments are responsible for generating and updating content according to UNCTAD guidelines, the development of each country website within the iGuides platform ensures significant capacity-building in investment promotion.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Tony Nsanganira, Chief Operating Officer of the Rwanda Development Board thanked UNCTAD for providing the iGuides platform to Rwanda and noted that it would enable the Government to better reach potential investors.
Mr. Lamin M. Manneh, UN Resident Coordinator for Rwanda, congratulated the Government of Rwanda on its work in developing the Rwanda site and noted that online solutions such as iGuides were well-suited to the Rwandan Government’s determined and fast-paced way of working.
Mr. Gunter Fischer of UNCTAD’s Landlocked Developing Countries Section underlined that the iGuides provided all critical information for investment decision at the fingertip. Moreover, unlike sit-on-the-shelf documents, any element of an iGuides site could be updated at any time, turning the iGuides into "living documents", which makes them more relevant to the target audience. The web-based investment guide to Rwanda is part of UNCTAD's technical assistance activities to strengthen national capacity for FDI attraction in land-locked developing countries.
Presenting the Rwanda site, iGuides focal point at UNCTAD, Ian Richards of the UNCTAD Investment and Enterprise Division, pointed out the many advantages of the site, including the presentation of data on prices, wages and taxes that investors could plug into their business models and information on procedures for investors, relevant laws and useful contacts.
Country sites for the iGuides platform are currently in development in Burundi and Nepal, and by the end of the year, Djibouti, Eastern Morocco, Mongolia and Uganda will be added to the list.
UNCTAD’s medium term strategy is to expand the network across successful regional economic groupings, the first likely to be the East African Community.