By Dias Nyesiga
Rwanda’s agribusiness exporters are set to benefit from the upcoming Rwanda-DRC agribusiness trade mission slated for next week from August 24th -26th.
The trade mission organized by the private sector federation through Chamber of Rwanda Farmers is aimed at formalizing as well as facilitating the Rwandan traders who are involved in cross border trade between the two countries.
DRC is among the Rwanda’s largest exporting destinations. In fact the recent study conducted by the ministry of Trade and Industry on informal cross border trade estimates that total informal exports and imports were approximately US$47m and US$21m respectively.
According to Stephen Ruzibiza the PSF Chief Executive Officer, these kinds of trade missions will not only create a conducive marketing strategy but also increases Rwanda’s exports to neighbouring countries.
Currently, Rwanda has embarked on promoting exports and reduces the imports which in turn will bridge the current trade deficit.
“What we need is to facilitate our local producers to formally get access to the cross-border markets and in this case, we are targeting DRC and we hope to expand these missions to other neighboring countries like Congo Brazzaville and others,” the PSF CEO said during the interview.
He mentioned other than DRC; more other countries were being targeted including Uganda and Tanzania.
He observed that in order to promote exports, it was imperative for the local producers to get access to the external markets as this will enhance competitiveness as well as improving the quality of production.
“Our local products must get access to the external market if we are to compete favorably at international market. That’s why we are trying to connect our exporters to their counterparts in different countries,” he added.
Recently, Francis Gasana a local businessman was chosen to head the Beijing Oriental Yuhong Waterproof Technology the Asian largest waterproof material manufacturer as a result of PSF’s organized trade mission to foreign countries.
The trade missions normally provide potential opportunities to local traders especially in long term partnerships with foreign traders.
In DRC, it’s expected that over 50 local companies in Agribusiness will participate in the trade mission. Various events are expected like a conference, exhibition to showcase the products of Rwanda, signing of MoU and business to business meetings of Rwandan participants and DRC business people to network and explore market opportunities in both countries.