Rwanda Cabinet has approved the establishment of a holding company dealing in aviation, travel and logistics services (ATL Ltd), handling Air Transport Products and Services in Rwanda.
The move is expected to increase the export and import at a time when the country has registered 7% growth in the second quarter despite the World Bank raising doubts that the economic performance may be affected by the El nino rains this year.
Rwanda, which also seeks to become the region’s aviation hub in the next few years, will be in position to receive more air traffic from around the globe as the Kigali international airport embarks on expansion to handle more cargo and passenger traffic.
Apparently in May 2015, the national carrier, RwandAir joined the International Air Transport Association (IATA) membership, a club of 250 airlines from over 150 countries- giving the carrier a mandate to participate in decision-making and policy formulation in the world of aviation arena.
Official formal trade in goods data reveal that in the second quarter of 2015, Rwanda’s total trade was US$ 614.88 million, higher by 3 percent compared to the second quarter of 2014. The trade was made up of exports worth US$ 94.82 million, imports worth of US$ 470.60 million and re-exports valued at US$ 49.46 million.
The trade deficit for the second quarter of 2015 worked out to US$ 326.32 million, 10% higher than the deficit of US$ 297.72 million for the corresponding quarter of 2014. Compared to the previous quarter of 2015, the deficit was higher by 11 % (US$ 292.84 million of deficit in the first Quarter of 2015).
The second quarter of 2015 registered 7 percent GDP growth compared to the same quarter in 2014. This follows GDP growth of 7.6% in the first Quarter of the year. GDP at current market prices was estimated to be Rwf 1,414 billion, up from Rwf 1,314 billion in the same quarter of 2014.
Services continue to lead in terms of shares to GDP with 47% compared to 33% and 14% shares for agriculture and industry respectively. Export crops growth was 30% compared to 0% last quarter and -6% in quarter 2 of 2014 mainly due to coffee that saw a growth of 27%.
The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning noted that good performance of the economy in the second quarter was an indication that Rwanda was likely to meet 6.5% annual GDP growth estimated this year.
“The figures give us hope that not only will we able to meet our annual GDP targets we may even surpass them,” Finance Minister Claver Gatete said recently.