Demand for exports to cushion Rwanda’s economy

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While the government of Rwanda predicts an increase in export and less dependence on imports, the Fitch Rating report has forecasts that the demand for Rwanda’s exports (including tea, coffee and minerals) will benefit from the gradual recovery in the global economy, with world GDP growth forecast to increase to 3.2% in 2014 from 2.5% in 2012.

The report says that despite the fall in world economies and Rwanda facing the challenge of delayed donor funds, the country has managed to work its way through the crisis by cutting down on its annual budget expenditure and coming up with strong measures

This has resulted to a continued rapid and inclusive real GDP growth, at 8% in 2012 and 8.3% on average since 2005. Growth has benefited from credible economic policy management relative to the ‘B’ category, reflected in subdued inflation, according to the report.

And apparently, Rwanda’s economy remains resilient and continues to grow at a sustained pace as exports increase significantly despite a decline is some international commodity prices.

Reports from the Rwandan government indicate that in the first half of 2013 both imports and exports increased in value and volume. Export value amounted to US$289.92 million representing a growth of 46.3% compared to the first half of 2012 while its volume increased by 27.1%.

Traditional exports such as coffee, tea as well as some minerals contributed 58.8% of the total export receipts in the first half of 2013. Despite a decline of 5.5% in tea value exports in the first half of 2013, overall traditional exports pulled in US$ 166.8 million compared to US$ 110.2 million in the same period last year, representing 51.4% increase. However, continuous dominance of traditional exports makes the export sector vulnerable to factors such as weather conditions and fluctuation of international prices.

Non-traditional exports also recorded good performance increasing by 8.9% in value from US$ 74.1million to US$ 80.7 million in the first half of 2013. This is mainly attributed to export of beverages, cereals cosmetics and milling products with companies such as Bralirwa, Bakhresa, Inyange and steel Rwanda contributing significantly.

 

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About the author

Based in New York, Patrick is a Wall Street Broker and Financial Pundit. He works as a Foreign Consultant for Rwanda Eye. His insights on the current economic trends and its impact on Rwanda and Africa, makes him an invaluable asset to Rwanda Eye.

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