Trade between Rwanda, UAE reached US$1 billion in 2022

By Esther Muhozi
On 7 November 2023 at 09:24

Trade between the Government of Rwanda and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has reached one billion US dollars.

This development was announced on Monday 6th November 2023, by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Jean Chrysostome Ngabitsinze, during a recent meeting that brought together 18 investors from the City of Dubai, represented by Dubai Chamber, and the Rwanda Private Sector Federation (PSF).

The meeting aimed to explore opportunities for further enhancing business collaborations between both countries.

Dubai Chamber, led by its President and CEO, Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, has been actively working to strengthen business relations with Rwanda as part of its New Horizons initiative.

This initiative seeks to boost Dubai’s foreign trade value to AED 2 trillion by 2026, aligning with the emirate’s five-year foreign trade plan. The trade mission to Rwanda is a testament to Dubai’s commitment to expanding its presence in the East African region.

Rwanda is emerging as a strategic springboard for exploring business opportunities in East Africa. The country has made impressive economic strides in recent years, focusing on innovation and technology-driven sectors.

Initiatives like Kigali Innovation City and Smart Africa are promoting digital transformation, entrepreneurship, and innovation. The progress in the ICT sector, in particular, has been notable.

Bilateral trade between Dubai and Rwanda

Bilateral trade between Dubai and Rwanda has been flourishing. In the past year, Dubai’s non-oil exports to Rwanda reached a value of US$ 143.8 million, while imports from Rwanda exceeded US$ 514.5 million. Key exports from Dubai to Rwanda include machinery, electronics, vehicles, man-made filaments, plastics, and iron and steel.

Meanwhile, Dubai’s main imports from Rwanda consist of precious stones and metals, fruits and nuts, coffee, tea, spices, oil seeds, and dairy products.

Dubai Chamber’s Commitment to the Region

Dubai Chamber, with approximately 19,000 African businesses under its umbrella, including 26 from Rwanda, has recognized the potential of Rwanda as a favorable investment destination. The unique aspects of Rwanda that have caught the attention of Dubai Chamber include its stability, diverse business opportunities, investment-friendly policies, and the emphasis on technological development and infrastructure.

Plans for Future Collaboration

The collaboration between Dubai Chamber and PSF aims to further increase the volume of goods exchanged between the two regions. Key areas of focus include construction materials, technology, and other equipment. Dubai Chamber is also considering investing in international business projects amounting to $543 billion by 2026, which would significantly benefit the Rwandan economy.

Rwanda as a Gateway to Africa

Rwanda’s strategic location within Africa, combined with its progressive business environment, makes it a prime gateway for Dubai to expand its presence in the continent. With approximately 25 ports in various parts of Africa, including Rwanda, Dubai is well-positioned to engage in stable trade relations.

The meeting between Dubai Chamber and PSF marks a crucial step in strengthening the spirit of friendly collaboration between Dubai and Rwanda. The shared commitment to enhancing bilateral trade and investment opportunities is a testament to the growing ties between the two regions.

As Dubai continues to explore new horizons and invest in international business projects, Rwanda’s role as a valuable partner in East Africa becomes even more evident.

The future holds exciting prospects for both sides, with the potential for increased trade and mutual success.

Minister Ngabitsinze (first from right) and the vice chairperson of PSF, Aimable Kimenyi (in the middle) are among representatives who attended the discussions.
Minister Ngabitsinze has revealed that trade between Rwanda and UAE reached US$1 billion in 2022.
The President and CEO of Dubai Chamber, Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah delivering remarks at the event.
Investors from Rwanda and Dubai explored opportunities for further enhancing business collaborations between both countries.