Rwanda’s export earnings increase to Rwf159bn

Export earnings grew by 45.5 per cent between January and June on year-to-year basis to $241m (about Rwf159.1b), up from $165m (about Rwf108.9b) over the same period last year.
Coffee and the re-export business were the main drivers of export growth.  The New Times / File
Coffee and the re-export business were the main drivers of export growth. The New Times / File

Export earnings grew by 45.5 per cent between January and June on year-to-year basis to $241m (about Rwf159.1b), up from $165m (about Rwf108.9b) over the same period last year.

This was boosted by coffee and re-exports which grew by 131 per cent and 61 per cent respectively.

The period was, however, characterised by price fluctuation for Rwanda’s primary exports, coffee and tea, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has said.

“Prices are not good on the international market, therefore, we should think of how to increase the value of exports to avoid intermediaries in the coffee and tea export business. We still rely on many intermediaries. By the time our coffee gets to the final consumer, it has been mixed and is no longer a Rwandan brand,” Eusebe Muhikira, the head of trade and manufacturing at RDB, said on Wednesday.

“We will set up a roasting factory this year, which is a joint venture between the government and the private sector. Once we have achieved this, we will target different markets with our high value products.”

The country’s invisible export, tourism, also witnessed 17 per cent growth in number of tourists from January to March 2013, from 242,000 to 290,122 visitors.

“A good noticeable trend is the growing number of business tourists which represent a big portion of the total visitors.

It accounted for 121,798 of the 290,122 total visitors. These are people who are coming to Rwanda to do business and attend conferences...they are contributing significantly to tourism revenues,” a statement from RDB indicated.

In addition to tourism products like ‘Kwita Izina’ and the canopy walk, RDB is developing new products such as caves to offer more choices to visitors. RDB expects regional and African visitors to increase by 20 per cent through this initiative and thus boost tourism revenues.

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