The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Rwanda have released a joint study analyzing Rwanda´s trade performance and establishing the foundations for the country´s first trade policy, designed to become a corner-stone of Rwanda´s development and poverty reductionstrategy.
The joint study, entitled “Rwanda's development-driven trade policy framework”, provides an in-depth analysis of Rwanda's various trade agreements, pre-existing trade instruments, sectoral policies and available institutional and human capabilities, defining the main obstacles to trade as a driving-force for Rwandan development. Eliminating these obstacles and resolving structural weaknesses will strengthen the linkage between trade and development, boost Rwanda´s insertion in international markets and improve its economic growth and social welfare prospects.
The trade policy proposed in the study is fully consistent with Rwanda's Vision 2020 and its Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy, the three initiatives together hopefully fostering economic and social development by establishing an adequate environment for development-driven trade initiatives and the expansion of sustainable and competitive exports.
The seven key building blocks taken into account in the final recommendations of the study are: i) increasing productivity, competitiveness and diversified sustainable productive capacities for trading; ii) enhancing participation of importers and exporters in regional and international trade; iii) improving environment for investment; iv) improving the investment scenario for economically viable industries; v) increasing human resources skills in trade and development; vi) strengthening science, technology and innovation policies, strategies and institutions as means to support industrial development and creative knowledge-based industries; and, vii) mainstreaming social aspects of development in trade and development activities.
Minister of Trade and Industry of Rwanda Monique Nsanzabaganwa has already launched the process of drafting a national trade policy based on the results and recommendations of the joint UNCTAD-Rwanda study. If all goes according to plan, Rwanda will have its first-ever trade policy this year.