Trade between Rwanda and Singapore is set to improve as the two countries move to enhance trade ties.
According to Steven Ruzibiza, the Chief Executive Officer, Private Sector Federation (PSF), the move seeks to strengthen investment partnerships between investors from both countries.
The development comes after a group of investors from Singapore paid a courtesy visit to Rwanda to explore business opportunities in the country.
Ruzibiza told The New Times that the new cooperation means Rwanda can learn from Singapore to boost its investment capacity and market its exports in Asian economies.
“The idea is to be able to learn from each other’s experience and promote trade and investments between the two countries,” he noted adding that Rwanda is counting on Singapore in areas of capacity building and trade and market promotion.
Rwanda currently works with countries like China and Dubai in commercial businesses.
Geremie Kalisa, the Director General, Afri-foarm Enterprise, said the two economies should work together to promote fair trade.
“We must work together to avoid duplication of business by encouraging those investors coming to add value on what we are already producing, but also invest in new areas to boost trade,” he noted.
“This will facilitate our local production in terms of quality and market accessibility,” he added.
Cody Lee, the Senior Director of Global Business Division in Singapore business federation said, it is critical for the two countries to work together and accelerate economic growth.
“Because Rwanda has always been promoted in Singapore as a free market where we can see new technologies, new companies in Africa, it is very imperative to strengthen our partnership and cooperation in areas of trade and investments,” he said.
Rwanda’s external trade has been affected by instabilities in global trade. The country’s export earnings dropped to $268.57 million during the first half of 2016, from $275.12 million in the same period last year.
The mismatch between imports and exports is largely attributed to the low-value exports and dependence on global markets for most of the country’s products.
Therefore attracting investors from countries like Singapore could help change the country’s trade dynamics and help narrow down the trade deficit gap.