The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is Rwanda’s main partner in informal cross border trade, accounting for 63 percent according to the latest survey report.
An informal cross-border trade survey report launched last week by the National Bank of Rwanda shows that the DRC accounts for 63 percent of total transactions, and 80 percent of total exports.
“The main product imported by Rwanda in informal trade was coffee essentially from the DRC and the imported volume was 2,944, 600 kg equivalent to Rwf1.9 billion representing 15.7 percent of total informal imports,” said Francois Kanimba, Governor of the Central Bank.
The survey indicated that imports from the DRC amounted to Rwf3.3 billion representing 27 percent of total informal imports and other products from DRC included bananas for cooking, bananas for beer, fermented cassava and dried beans, among others.
While informal exports to the DRC from Rwanda amounting to Rwf22 billion thus representing 80 percent of unrecorded exports of Rwanda; Rwanda’s main export products to DRC were live cattle valued at Rwf2.7 billion followed by live goats at Rwf2.6 billion, as well as paraffin and maize flour.
“The major objective of this survey was to determine the value and volume of ICTB flows between Rwanda and her neighboring countries, the composition of commodities traded as well as their direction,” said Francois Kanimba last week during the presentation of the survey.
Burundi was the second important partner in informal trade representing 19 percent of total informal trade and 14 percent of total exports.
The value of exports to and imports from Burundi were Rwf3.8 billion and Rwf3.7 billion respectively leading to a positive trade balance of Rwf119,692, 350 million.
The survey put the total of Rwanda’s exports and imports to Rwf27.6 billion and Rwf12.3 billion respectively resulting in a trade surplus of Rwf15.3 billion that contributes to the country’s current balance of payment account.
The share of Uganda in total trade with Rwanda during the same period was 18 percent dominated by imports representing 42 percent of total informal cross border trade imports.
The total trade with Uganda was Rwf7 billion of which Rwf5.2 billion are imports and Rwf1.7 billion are exports leading to a deficit trade balance of Rwf3.4 billion.
“Tanzania’s contribution in the informal trade with Rwanda was limited at 0.3 percent of the total informal trade,” said Kanimba.
The total trade with Tanzania was equivalent to Rwf130, 457,380 million of imports and Rwf17 million of exports leading to a deficit of Rwf96 million.