The government will put more efforts in boosting local industries to increase exports, something that will bring down the country trade imbalance.
Amb Claver Gatete, minister of finance and economic planning while presenting economic performance to the 13th National Dialogue council-Umushyikirano on Tuesday said strengthening local industries will increase value and volume of exports.
“We are looking at promoting local industries for exports and energy for industrialization so that we can increase our export base,” the Minister noted
The country is still striving to close the trade deficit that stands at 6.5 percent by end of the second half of 2015 which was as a result of increasing import receipts, as most goods are imported.
“For each dollar we earn from exports we have to spend 3 dollars on import,” Gatete said.
The Minster also noted that the government is taking efforts to develop local construction materials which will increase import receipts but also scaling up affordable housing.
Although ICT contribute only 3 percent to GDP, there are plans to scale the sector so that it is the main driver of the economy by 2020.
It was noted that the economy continued to perform positively with the GDP growing an average of 9.8 percent between 1995 to 2015 from -11.4 percent in 1994. While extreme poverty decline to 16.3 percent in 2014 from 40 percent in 2000.
“We cannot move forward without increasing agriculture production,” the Minister added.
Accordingly, the country’s fertilizer usage stands at 43 percent for local and 14.6 percent for manufactured fertilizers irrigation is at 1.5 percent and 11.6 percent for improved seeds.
Further, the Minister told the council that there is need to boost agriculture production mainly focusing on improved seeds, irrigation, fertilizer usage as wells improving value chain. Currently the sector’s productivity is still below 50 percent.