Local exporters are set to have more access to credit as Banque Populaire du Rwanda (BPR) moves to roll out a new initiative to promote exports.
The initiative will not only enable exporters to access affordable credit, but also increase connectivity between exporters, suppliers and buyers.
Sanjeev Anand, the Bank’s CEO, said the initiative will help reduce the country’s trade deficit and increase the supply of foreign exchange.
“We are making an offer to the exporters and we are ready to provide them with all the necessary financial and technical support so as to achieve the objective,” Anand said during the Bpr Bank exporter’s forum held last week in Kigali.
He noted that the bank will provide competitive interest rates to further enhance capacity of exporters in global markets.
The overall objective is to allow exporters gain greater control of their business as they increase competitiveness in global markets. The BPR boss further noted that they are willing to work with other stake holders including Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD).
If we are able to secure funding at a lower cost, we will definitely pass on the benefit of lower rate financing to the exporters, he said adding that it’s important for stakeholders to work together and ensure export promotion in the country.
According to Erik Boekel, Atlas Mara’s head of global markets sales, the prime focus for all players should be ensuring that exporters have the necessary financial and technical support to boost exports.
“This way, Rwanda will be able to narrow down its trade deficit,” he said.
As part of the initiative to boost exports, BRD recently slashed interest rates for local exporters accessing funds under the export growth facility fund module.
The Bank reduced interest rates from 16.5 per cent to 10 per cent to facilitate the export sector.
This new development according to Benjamin Manzi, BRD’s Head of investments is to re-energize the Export Growth Facility fund and boost competitiveness of the country’s export sector.
The move is designed to help the small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs) with a turnover of at least $50,000 and $1million to have smooth access to credit.
The Development Bank said it is already availing the money to the export oriented SMEs through a selected number of partner financial institutions such as BPR, I&M Bank, EcoBank and Urwego Opportunity Bank.
More than Rwf1 billion, is expected to be channeled through the Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD), to facilitate exporters.
According to the country’s growth blueprint, the Second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS II), government looks to increase exports to 28 per cent per year, from about 20 per cent.
Meanwhile Manzi said the Bank will provide technical assistance to stakeholders to help boost their capacity to develop products that respond to SMEs needs.
“The EGF is meant to facilitate firms in the horticulture, agro-processing, artisanal mining and manufacturing sectors, so we want to ensure that we assist players in this sector to become more innovative and boost their productivity,” Manzi said.