Informal cross border trade increases by 16%

Informal cross-border  trade increased by 15.6 per cent to $46.8m (Rwf26.2b) during the first half of the year from $40.5m (Rwf22.6b) over the same period last year.
Cross-border business has soared, bringing in Rwf26b. The New Times/Timothy Kisambira
Cross-border business has soared, bringing in Rwf26b. The New Times/Timothy Kisambira

Informal cross-border  trade increased by 15.6 per cent to $46.8m (Rwf26.2b) during the first half of the year from $40.5m (Rwf22.6b) over the same period last year.

The trade balance was augmented by imports to the border communities, which continued to fall over the years to $9.38m, from $10.5m, compared to exports which increased in value to $56.3m from $51m, according to the central bank governor, John Rwangombwa.

 

Rwangombwa said informal cross-border exports were dominated by transactions with the DR Congo, accounting for 82 per cent of the total exports, while imports were mainly from Uganda, accounting for 56 per cent of the total imports.

 

“Globally, agriculture products and livestock are the major commodities traded in the informal cross-border exports,” Rwangombwa said while presenting the bank’s quarterly monetary policy and financial stability statement, adding that they included, dried beans, bovine, cattle maize and beef.

 

“Informal cross-border exports of industrial products have also recorded good performance in the first half of 2013. Products such as maize and wheat flour, domestic metals, plastics, petroleum products and sugar represented 23 per cent of this category,” he said.

The main imports included, coffee, Irish potatoes, whiskies, bananas, maize, rice and poultry.

Noteworthy, formal trade with the East African Community improved through a reported narrowed deficit of $190m from $208m, mainly due to the declining import ratio against increasing exports.

Main exports to East Africa included tea, raw hides and skins, coffee, steel bars, vegetables and beer, while imports comprised of cement, palm oil, fertilisers, clothes and sugar.

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