Rwanda's exports to Egypt could increase as the two countries move to renew efforts and commitment to boost trade relations.
This follows a meeting between Francois Kanimba, the Minister for Trade and Industry and Negm Namira, the Egyptian High Commissioner to Rwanda, yesterday in Kigali.
The two discussed ways to strengthen and foster trade relationships and investments between Rwanda and Egypt. The exports whose volume is expected to increase include pineapples, sweet bananas, tea, coffee and other horticulture products.
Statistics from the Ministry of Trade and Industry indicate that Rwanda earns about $30million in exports to Egypt annually while Egypt earns a staggering $64millon from exports to Rwanda.
However, the tide is expected to change in favour of Rwanda after a pledge by Egypt to open up more markets for made in Rwanda products, Kanimba noted.
He added that efforts are on going to find ways on how Rwanda’s tea and coffee exports will be exported directly to Egypt without going through Mombasa.
“We are currently talking of opening more markets and business opportunities for Rwanda while scaling up Egyptian investments in the country. And ultimately looking at how to foster Rwandan exports to Egypt especially the sub tropics horticulture products, because that’s what we lack,” Namira told The New Times.
Currently, Egyptian investors in Rwanda are focusing on mining and construction industry and according to Namira; more investors are eying the country’s health, agriculture, manufacturing and ICT sectors.
Last month a trade delegation including Rwanda Development Board (RDB) officials travelled to Egypt to pitch investment opportunities available in the country and markets for made in Rwanda products.
Already, there are plans by the Ministry of Education and Egypt’s Cairo University to establish a mining and geological centre of excellence in Rwanda. The centre is expected to greatly strengthen the capacity of the mining sector through skills development.