The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) in collaboration with TradeMark East Africa, has launched a programme to facilitate ten dynamic Rwandan companies with top quality products to join an initiative that will help them export into the Ugandan market.
This initiative is in support of the Government’s recently approved National Export Strategy and is the first phase of the implementation of RDB’s Rwandan Export Development Programme.
The programme will see staff from RDB’s Trade and Manufacturing Division search for appropriate companies in Rwanda and export opportunities in Uganda.
According to Eusebe Muhikira, the acting Head of the Department at RDB, the programme dubbed MarketLink Uganda, will boost the volumes of exports Rwandan companies send to Uganda.
“This is exactly the sort of practical hands-on support our companies need. I hope that many companies from all production sectors will contact us to participate in the MarketLink Uganda programme,” he said.
Mark Priestly, Country Director of TradeMark East Africa, who are funding this pilot initiative noted that programme will help the Rwandan business community to connect with their Ugandan counterparts.
“The MarketLink initiative aims to help develop business ties between manufacturers and buyers in the East African Community. In particular, it aims to capitalize on opportunities for intra-regional trade and business arising from the formation of the EAC Common Market,” Priestly said.
The initial research to establish interest from Rwandan companies to meet with Ugandan buyers, began from November 8.
The programme targets Rwandan firms with highly saleable products and with the capability to deliver export orders.
“The search has only started, but already interest is very high with companies in a wide range of sectors including paper products, processed foods, construction materials and furniture prepared to commit to the programme,”
“We have met some excellent companies that we believe have the potential to do good business in Uganda”, explained Rob Moodie, the head of Uganda-based TraidLink’s, which is supporting RDB in managing the programme.
Following selection of the top 10, samples of their products will be taken to the Uganda by RDB staff.
Together with the TraidLinks team in Uganda, RDB officials will undertake an intensive on the ground research to find buyers, show them the products and get them interested in meeting with the Rwandan producers.
Participating companies will then be taken to Uganda and introduced to their potential trade partners.
Each Rwandan company will have an itinerary of individual face-to-face meetings with a range of Ugandan businesses in the premises of the Ugandan companies, which means meeting with Ugandan buyers who believe there is a real possibility to do business with the Rwandan producers.