The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MINICOM) has revealed that there is a gap between imported and exported products to the extent that one earned dollar for exports is equivalent to o three dollars spent on imports, creating a big trade deficit.
Statistics from the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) indicates that from January to September 2015 imports worth USD 1, 384,310,000 were realized while exports had the value of USD426,200,000.
The permanent secretary in MINICOM, Emmanuel Hategeka has requested entrepreneurs from small and medium enterprises, SMEs, to produce big quantities and high quality products with standards to meet Rwanda and foreign markets.
He made the request yesterday during the opening of a four day training workshop for entrepreneurs from small and medium enterprises organized by COMESA in collaboration with MINECOFIN and Private Sector Federation.
“There is still a huge gap between exports and imports. We spend three dollars on every one earned dollar. In reality, there is no reason to import meat, fish, milk and oil. Much money is spent on all of these imported items for no reason as they can be found in Rwanda,” he said.
Hategeka stressed the need to take effective measures to address the matter since it would negatively affect national economy if it persists.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry recently announced a plan to launch a fund to support investors who produce for export through loan donations as a one of the strategies to fill the gap between imports and exports.