TRADE between Rwanda and its East African Community (EAC) partner states rose by 41 percent in the previous two years, an indication of the immense potential of the region’s trading block, a top government official has said.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Monique Nsanzabaganwa, said that trade between Rwanda and the rest of the EAC Sates of Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Tanzania grew to $337.6 million (Rwf 197.1 billion) up from $237.8 million (Rwf 138.8 b) in 2008,
“These figures are an indication of the immense potential of the EAC trading block and the role it can play in boosting trade for development across the region,” Nsanzabaganwa said.
She made the remarks on Friday during the Kigali “Marketers Mixx Up” forum where the Kigali “Quiz Nite” was launched. ‘Ocean 12’ team won the quiz and walked away with a Rwf 1 million prize.
The event was organised to provide an opportunity for Rwanda’s marketing fraternity to meet and interact with the rest of the business community and encourage the former to utilize their enthusiasm and energy in a multi-industry.
Rwanda’s imports from the EAC region increased from $199.9 million (Rwf 116.6 billion) in 2007 to $299.8 million (Rwf 175 billion) in 2008.
“Portland Cement, fertilizers, salt, minerals, fuels and oils, iron and steel, cereals and soaps dominated imports from EAC in 2008,” Nsanzabaganwa said.
The Minister also revealed that the country’s exports to the region remained stable at $37.9 million (Rwf 22.1 billion) and total exports to EAC in 2007 and 2008 accounted for 16.0 percent and 11.2 percent of the country’s total exports respectively.
“Tea, coffee, minerals, dried leguminous vegetables and fruits dominated exports to the EAC,” she said.