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Position:SPOTLIGHT: Democratic Republic of Congo


On his tireless quest to significantly increase investment into the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Matata Ponyo, the country's Prime Minister and head of government travelled across the Netherlands meeting with Dutch officials, private sector representatives and key stakeholders in the diaspora, promoting one simple message: invest in the heart of Africa.

After a visit to Berlin last September, Matata Ponyo Mapon, the DRC's Prime Minister, was in the Netherlands from 29th to 31st October promoting his country as a business destination to the Dutch government and private sector stakeholders. He undertook this mission accompanied by a large and distinguished delegation composed of the Ministers for Economy, Trade, Transport, and Finance as well as representatives of the Congolese Business Federation (FEC), the Laity Federation of NGOs with economic vocation of Congo (FOLECO), the Confederation of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises of the Congo (COPEMECO), and the DRC's Ambassador to the Netherlands, Professor Henri Mova Sakanyi.

The DRC-Netherlands Business Forum, held on 29 October in Noordwijk, was the first stop. It was a forum designed to lay the foundations of stronger cooperation between the DRC and the Netherlands and an initiative from the Netherlands-African Business Council (NABC) organised in partnership with the Dutch and Congolese governments.

"You are here because you are interested in the DRC, a waking giant, on course to become the largest in Africa," said Bob Van Der Bijl, NABC's Managing Director (right). "As a Dutchman, from a country of cheese, an agricultural country," Bob Van Der Bijl continued, "I am also delighted that the DRC is investing in agri-industrial parks. A pillar of our future relations. There are other sectors with strong potential, in infrastructure, energy, transport etc."

Matata Ponyo Mapon reminded his Dutch counterpart, Mark Rutte, the Dutch Prime Minister, "of the excellent cooperative relations between our two countries."

"In the field of security," he said, "the Netherlands has been a key player; never afraid to take up the DRC's cause to establish a permanent return to peace, security and stability in the Great Lakes region."

The DRC's armed forces, with the support of the UN's intervention brigade, have ended the atrocities committed by the March 23 Movement (known as M23). "The country is now at peace; it can therefore welcome investors once again."

The aim of Matata Ponyo's visit is precisely to back up and highlight the news of the DRC's economic performance and the many business opportunities it has to offer.

"For many years, the DRC has been resolutely committed to making courageous reforms designed notably to stabilise its macroeconomic framework, promote governance, improve state efficiency, combat corruption and to improve its...

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