The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MINICOM) said it sees a brighter future for the economy, this year, based on substantial progress registered last year after a slowdown in economic activity in 2009.
The Ministry said that Rwanda’s exports increased from US$193 million in 2009 to US$254 million in 2010, boosted by coffee exports, which rose by 50 percent to US$56.1 million. Revenues from the mining industry totalled US$67.8 million in 2010.
The Permanent Secretary in MINICOM, Emmanuel Hategeka, told Business Times after a joint sector review meeting on Tuesday that the growth was driven by higher prices on the international market, which occasioned a strong recovery in the global economy.
“We have registered substantial progress on the business environment Index. The Index score increased to 60 percent, exceeding our target of 56 percent for 2009/10. Our Tourism receipts rebounded from US$174 million in 2009 to US$200 million this year,” he said.
This derives from the detailed Doing Business data from the World Bank, where Rwanda achieved 58th place worldwide and was the second best global reformer.
Non-traditional exports showed high growth with hides and skins, pyrethrum and re-exports growing by 91 percent, 119 percent and 74 percent respectively, indicating favourable returns from exports, the Ministry said.
According to Hategeka, diversified export growth will be essential in reducing Rwanda’s susceptibility to exogenous shocks such as global demand trends and climate.
The 2010/2011 Fiscal Year budget had projected challenges of low export base that is likely to increase donor dependence to fill the gaps. The national budget called for more production of quality products for export to increase domestic resource mobilisation.
Commenting on the strategic achievements, Hategeka said, Rwanda has established online business registration, electronic payment systems and a credit reference bureau.
The delay in the construction of the Rwanda cultural village, he says, has delayed due to lack of in-country expertise.
Hategeka added that government has hired a consultant to develop a logistics and distribution services strategy to address some of the challenges in the coffee and tea sectors.
He said a national export strategy, which is also expected offset some of the challenges, will be discussed by cabinet.