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Second Made-in-Rwanda expo begins

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2016-12-14 14:00:00 – Africa

The second Made-in-Rwanda exhibition opens today at Gikondo Expo Grounds in Kicukiro District., organized by the Private Sector Federation in partnership with Minister for Trade, Industry, and East African Community Affairs (MINEACOM). It gives an opportunity to Rwandan manufacturers to showcase what they can do and their production potential to satisfy local market as government seeks to increase exports and bridge the import gap.

The Minister for Trade, Industry, and East African Community Affairs (MINEACOM), François Kanimba, said that there is need for more value addition to locally-made products to attract citizenry consumers and appeal to the regional market. The exhibition offers an opportunity to assess the results of the Made-in-Rwanda sensitization campaign that has been running for the past months.

Sectors that will showcase their products include textile, ICT, agro-processing, manufacturing, construction, furniture, service sector among others.

Since they started the Made-in-Rwanda drive, the number of manufacturers and exhibitors has been going up. The Government has come up with different initiatives to support it, such as removing taxes on raw materials for textile industry, VAT law was revised, among others, and soon electricity tariff will be reduced. Kanimbas said that they hope these will boost domestic consumption, export and reduce import bill.

During the exhibition, a survey will be conducted through questionnaires that will be handed out and filled by the exhibitors to inform future policy formulation. An open meeting on Made-in-Rwanda will also be held.

Stephen Ruzibiza, the chief executive of the Private Sector Federation, called on the public to attend the expo to witness the potential of local firms. Different quality products will be on display at affordable prices.

Further to identify priority sectors that can quickly contribute to domestic market recapturing, the ministry conducted a study on “Domestic Market Recapturing Strategy (DMRS)” that was validated in February last year. The study indicated that the total foreign exchange savings induced by DMRS could reach almost $450 million per year.

According to the ministry, a successful Made-in-Rwanda drive could save the country up to 18 percent of what it spends on imports.

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