As Rwanda continues to explore the Chinese market, local instant coffee is the latest product to be sent to the Asian country, and according to the Rwanda Coffee Company, the Chinese consumers have showcased good interest in it. Rwanda participated in the China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, China this week which showcased a number of Rwandan products including chili, made-in-Rwanda handicrafts, avocado oil, as well as various types of coffee including instant coffee, to the Chinese market. Speaking to The New Times, Samuel Abikunda, the Economic Attaché at the Rwandan Embassy in China said the 5-day expo was used as an opportunity to promote instant coffee, a product they introduced to the Chinese market recently. “It is one of the products that are selling out quickly. We put it online on Alibaba’s online platforms among others, and it is getting more interest because it is easier to use, especially for people who are busy, for example those working in offices. Since we started selling coffee in China, we realised that not all Chinese consumers have time to grind coffee beans,” he said. David Ngarambe, the CEO of the Rwanda Coffee Company said he is confident that Rwandan instant coffee will do a great job on the Chinese market, as it has been doing on the local one. “The Chinese market welcomed it well. It is a product that we introduced this year, so that means we have to wait and see how it responds on the market. We are waiting to see the consistency,” he noted. Since its first edition in 2018, the CIIE has become a good platform to attract Chinese investors and a gateway for more Rwandan products to enter the Chinese market, according to a statement from the Rwandan Embassy in China. Abikunda told The New Times that Rwanda has gained a lot from the event in the past few years. “It is a very good platform for us to promote our country in general, and to make more Chinese people know more about it. It is not only about promoting products; It is also about promoting the image of Rwanda, promoting investments, promoting trade and tourism. This is because every time we make a booth, people always pass by and ask more about our country and some of them have never heard about Rwanda before,” he noted. The expo has resulted in big wins for Rwanda, for instance, during one of its previous editions, Gashora Farms, a local agricultural company, inked a deal worth $500 million to supply chili to the Chinese market for 5 years. “Since the first edition, we have seen an increase in export of agricultural products, as well as an increase in Chinese companies registering their businesses in Rwanda. So we believe there is a connection between CIIE and the increase of Chinese companies trying to invest in Rwanda, and the Chinese clients buying Rwandan products,” Abikunda noted.