The survey that was conducted by the National Bank of Rwanda between may last year and April this year to find out the volume of Informal cross border trade (ICBT) puts the trade at Rwf40 billion.
The results of the report present findings of ICBT census that was conducted on 53 big and small posts including unofficial border posts
The report was presented yesterday at Serena Hotel by the National Bank of Rwanda in collaboration with ministry of trade and industries, National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda and Rwanda Revenue Authority.
“The major objectives of this census was to determine the value and volume of ICTB flows between Rwanda and her neighboring countries, the composition of commodities traded as well as their direction,” said Francois Kanimba the Governor of NBR.
The census put the total of Rwanda’s exports and imports to Rwf27.6 billion and Rwf12.3 billion respectively resulting in trade surplus of RwfRwf15.3 billion and this surplus contributes to the country’s current account of balance of payment.
Kanimba also said that the survey captured unrecorded trade transactions in goods along Rwanda’s borders with neighboring countries that are not otherwise recorded in official customs data.
Agricultural products and livestock are the major commodities traded in ICBT and the major export product is bovine cattle valued at Rwf3.3 billion which is 12 percent of total exports while the main import product is coffee with a value of Rwf1.9 billion representing a 16 percent of total imports.
However, on the other hand, Rwanda’s total informal export to the four neighboring countries is Rwf27.6 billion compared to formal exports that is worth Rwf109.6 billion bringing the overall combined exports to Rwf137.3 billion in the same period leading to an increase of 25.2 percent.
“We have to be committed and see how we can increase our trade with the immediate neighbors as well as transforming the informal business into formal,” said Monique Nsanzabaganwa, the minister of trade and industry.
In an effort to formalize cross border trade, the minister said that trade information points have been established at some border posts and five cooperatives have been established to improve on the capacity.