Rwanda's trade deficit on downward trend: central bank

Source: Xinhua| 2018-08-30 19:35:55|Editor: Xiang Bo
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KIGALI, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- Rwanda's trade deficit decreased by two percent in the first half of 2018 compared to the same period last year, the central bank announced on Thursday.

Central bank governor John Rwangombwa attributed the reduction in the trade deficit to the increase in formal export receipts, which rose by 23.2 percent in the first half of 2018.

"The trade deficit reduction was due to good performance in exports in the period. There was an increase in export volumes such as minerals, tea, and coffee and as well as made-in-Rwanda products," said Rwangombwa.

According to him, re-exports increased by 22.2 percent in the first half of 2018, while non-traditional exports increased by 19.1 percent in the same period.

The reduction of the trade deficit has seen the Rwandan Franc remain stable against the dollar with the central bank saying that by end June this year, the Rwandan currency depreciated by 1.7 percent against the United Sates dollar.

Rwangombwa said Rwanda's economy continues to register strong performance after registering 10.6 percent growth in the first quarter of 2018, up from 10.5 recorded in the previous quarter.

Speaking at the monetary policy and financial stability statement 2018 event, Vincent Munyeshyaka, Rwandan minister of trade and industry said that Rwanda targets to increase its exports base by 17 per cent annually.

"We are planning to scale up and reform export growth fund to increase access to finance for exporters and building potential partnerships with regional exporters as part of efforts to increase Rwandan exports on the international markets," he said.

The small central African country targets to double the current average annual GDP from the current 5.4 percent growth rate to more than 10 percent to be able to reach upper middle income status by 2035, according to ministry of finance and economic planning.

Rwanda's economic pillars that include tourism, manufacturing, retail and wholesale and mining are also projected to deliver above 10 per cent of GDP growth under the 2035 blueprint.

According to the 2017 World Bank report, Rwanda has the potential to be one of Africa's great success stories given it's a dynamic social and economic transformation.