Egypt, Rwanda in New Drive to Boost Trade

The government of Rwanda and the Republic of Egypt have pledged to enhance bilateral economic relations between the two countries.

Namira Nabil Mohamed, the Egyptian Ambassador to Rwanda, said Egypt will continue to support Rwanda’s aspirations to become a middle income economy through shared experiences, knowledge and technical know-how.

It will also continue to encourage more Egyptian investors to come to Rwanda as it opens up more market for made in Rwanda products.

Ambassador Nabil re-emphasized the need to strengthen commercial ties between the two countries for sustained economic growth.

The plan is to ensure that we create more business opportunities for traders from both countries to partner and exploit.

She was speaking during the official opening of the annual Egyptian- Middle East trade exhibition in Kigali last week.

The 2016 trade expo brought together more than 200 exhibitors from over 20 countries including Egypt, Pakistan, UEA and India among others.

Jewelry being displayed at the Egypt-Middle East Trade Fair.

Rwanda earns about $30million (Rwf22 billion) in exports to Egypt annually while Egypt earns a staggering $64millon (Rwf46 billion) from exports to Rwanda. However, the tide is expected to change in favour of Rwanda after a pledge by Egypt to open up more markets for made in Rwanda products

Both Rwanda and Egypt belong to the Common Market and Southern Africa (COMESA) trade block.

Therefore having Egypt opening more markets for Rwanda products is a great milestone towards boosting the country’s export industry.

This could equally mean being able to reduce the country’s trade deficit through export promotion.

Already efforts by the government and other stakeholders to expand the country’s exports base and increase the sector’s foreign exchange receipts are ongoing.

Shoes and handbags are also on sale at the expo. (All photos by Francis Byaruhanga) 

For example, the national export body (NAEB) plans to increase the contribution of non traditional export commodities such as animal products, cereals, to a tune of 42% by 2018 from 26% in 2012.

Therefore, strengthening trade ties with Egypt could be a game changer towards realizing this objective, Robert Opirah, the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s director general for trade and investment said.

Egypt is the biggest exporter and biggest importer of Rwanda’s products which explains why our trade with Egypt has increased by more the 15 per cent in recent years.

“It’s only Egypt that we share constant exhibitions with adding that finding more market for Rwandan products while attracting more Egyptian investors is critical for the country’s economic sustainability.”

This post first appeared HERE

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