Encouraging joint ventures between local and foreign business people, as well as ensuring strong macro-economic fundamentals could help spur the exports sector and attract more foreign direct investments (FDIs).
Elizabeth Littlefield, the president and chief executive officer of American Overseas Private Investments Corporation, said a conducive business environment, where investors are guaranteed protection, is a must for any country that seeks to expand its exports base.
She noted that encouraging investors in the country to work as ambassadors by sharing business success stories with the rest of the world could also attract FDIs. Rwanda should also take advantage of its impressive World Bank Doing Business report ranking to position itself as a major investment destination, Littlefield added.
Rwanda was ranked the second-best country in sub-Saharan Africa after Mauritius in ease of doing business report released late last year.
Clay Parker, the sustainability director of Rwanda Trading Company, a coffee exporter, said the country should further promote value addition to bolster its export volumes.
He noted that though the country’s exports, especially coffee, are on demand the issue of quality should be emphasised to make Rwanda’s products more competitive.
Jado Kabengera, the programme officer at Spark, an entrepreneurship training firm, urged manufactures to adapt modern technology to boost production levels and enhance quality. Kabengera argued that if farmers planted quality seeds, applied fertilisers and stored produce in good storage facilities, this would reduce post-harvest losses and increase export volumes.
The government targets 28 per cent growth in export volumes under the second phase of the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS II) to reduce the huge import bill presently.