Rwandan manufacturers are showcasing local products at the ongoing manufacturers’ trade fair in Kampala, Uganda.
Martin Gasasira, Senior Trade Development officer at the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), said the 22nd Uganda International Trade Fair is an opportunity for local manufacturers to market products made in Rwanda.
“The trade fair is also an opportunity for local manufacturers to learn from their counterparts and assess market demand,” Gasasira told The Saturday Times in an interview.
The Uganda International Trade Fair, that runs from October 2 to 10, is taking place at the UMA show grounds.
“We registered a good number of manufacturers from agro processing, steel manufacturing, and leather among other sectors.”
The multi-sectoral annual trade fair is expected to offer great business opportunities in terms of technological transfer, business networking and partnerships, ingredients which local manufacturers must use to boost exports, according to Anne Rwigara, the Rwanda Manufacturers Association secretary general.
“It’s a trade opportunity for businesses, non-governmental organisations, and public and private sectors to showcase their products and services, innovations and forge business partnerships,” Rwigara noted.
The exhibition has attracted more than 2,000 companies from more than 25 countries, according to Kigozi Sebaggala, the Uganda Manufactures Association’s executive director.
“What we are seeking to know how we can deeply penetrate regional markets and promote fair trade amongst ourselves. It’s also an opportunity for us to showcase our products,” Paul Mugiraneza, Productions Manager, Ese Urwibutso, said.
Pascal Bwanakweli, the Managing Director, Kigali Dyeing and Finishing Textiles Ltd, said manufacturers need to seek business knowledge and solutions to some of the challenges including, market information and value addition along the value chain.
Rwandan exports to the East African region amounted to $97.8 million in the first half of 2014 up from $70.7 million in the same period of the previous year, which is an increase of 38.6 per cent.
Imports from the EAC region slightly increased by 3.7 per cent, amounting to $247.8 million from $239 million in the first half of 2014. These developments have since narrowed the trade deficit with EAC countries to $150 million.
The county wants to grow its exports by annual turnover of 28 per cent.