Rwandan-made products could soon increase on the Canadian market following an initiative by Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and the Canadian Trade Facilitation Office (TFO) to link local exporters with potential buyers in the North American nation.
This was agreed upon at a seminar for local small and medium enterprises with interests in exports in Kigali, yesterday. The meeting was jointly facilitated by RDB and TFO to increase chances of accessing the Canadian market.
According to the Canadians, the goods that are likely to be on high demand in their country include spices, flowers, and vegetables.
Eusebe Muhikira, RDB head of export and business development , said there was a huge opportunity for local firms to export to Canada with the current levels of exports estimated at $2 million.
He said the market information to the SME’s will fill the gap that has been curtailing exports as the firms lacked relevant skills or finances to conduct research.
“Gathering information from new markets requires skills and is often too expensive for small exporters,” Muhikira said.
He added that the push to grow exports to Canada was in line with the national export strategy that outlines the need to upgrade local SMEs production and supply capacity.
“The strategy also targets to grow Rwandan exports by 28 per cent every year. Currently, export trade has been growing by 17 per cent over the years,” said Muhikira.
According to RDB statistics, exports to North America constitute 3 per cent of total exports, with the largest proportion of exports products to Canada being coffee and tea.
The statistics further indicate that coffee represents 87 per cent of total exports to Canada.
However, TFO warned that the exporters will have to contend with consumers who are well informed, demanding and keen to understand the corporate social responsibility programmes of their source producers and the environmental friendliness of their products
Rwanda targets to raise export earnings with the second Economic Development and Poverty Eradication Strategy seeking to more than triple exports revenue from $1.277 billion in 2013 to $4.515 billion in 2018.