Burundi may be on verge of collapsing but business with its northern neighbour Rwanda has never been better as an increasing amount of goods head south, latest figures show.
For October 2015 – some five months after the current crisis erupted, Burundi imported $1.9m worth of goods. But then for the same month this year, the value grew to $2.8m – indicating a 53.6% increase of the Burundi monthly imports from Rwanda.
The biggest exports include maize, maize flour, wheat flour, cassava flour, potatoes and processed milk. The growth has been steady in relation to previous periods.
The data is contained in the ‘Formal external trade in Goods’ report for October 2016 by the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR).
The biggest export destinations for goods from Rwanda remain; United Arab Emirates, Switzerland, DR Congo, Kenya, USA, Singapore, Hong Kong and Belgium – totaling some $40m for October alone.
The biggest source of revenue remained; gold, coffee, Niobium, vanadium ores, tantalum and concentrates, tea and Tin ores and concentrates. The nature of the exports perhaps explains the destinations as such countries are more likely to want them for high-end products and consumption.
In October 2016, domestic exports values increased by 4.04% compared to September 2016 and increased by 9.5% compared to October 2015.
As for imports, the data clearly shows that the country’s ambitious program to cut back on imports is working. A ‘Made In Rwanda’ trade fair opens in Kigali on Wednesday until December 20. Local manufacturers will showcase their produce.
NISR figures show that monthly imports went down by 26% in October this year, compared to same month last year. The largest drops came from Germany (37%), India (36%) and China (27%). There was also a significant decrease in imports from Uganda and Kenya – both of which account for huge import bill.
But import volumes remain high.