Rwanda has joined the United Kingdom (UK) developing countries trading scheme (DCTS) which seeks to cut tariffs on products entering the UK from 65 countries.
The market of an estimate 3.3 million people predominantly from Africa, DCTS entered into force this week while Rwanda launched it on June 22 in Kigali.
It completely removes or reduces tariffs and simplifies trading rules which allows many products to qualify.
The UK believes the scheme to be more generous than the European Union scheme where the country belonged before Brexit.
“We want to see exports grow from Rwanda to the UK this scheme will enable traders from Rwanda to cumulate, to combine imports from other neighboring countries in the region and across other African countries and to expand the goods they can export to the UK,” said Mr. Paul Whittingham, Head of the UK’s Trade for Development department in London who is in Kigali for the launch.
“This is beneficial for trade in Rwanda; it will create more jobs, but it is also beneficial in the United Kingdom, who will have cheaper imports of excellent Rwandan products.”
He further said that the UK import from Rwanda has been growing, and his country “is delighted about that”, but this scheme “will make it easier for Rwandan exporters to sell to the UK. They can source imports and goods from other countries in the region and across the world, add value to them, process them and extract higher value from those exports to the UK.”
In this, the UK is looking for quality and quantity from Rwanda.
The media asked the UK official what his country will do differently in front of prohibitive laws from the West that limit entry of goods with added value from developing countries to their market.
“That’s what the scheme is trying to tackle. We have removed a number of taxes and administrative barriers and we’ve increased the threshold by which Rwandan exports can source imports from different parts of the world, because the purpose of the scheme is to enable Rwandan exporters to add value themselves and enter the UK market duty free,” he said.
Rwanda’s Minister of Trade Jean Chrysostome Ngabitsinze said, that Rwanda’s adhesion to this scheme is important.
“We shall sell to the wide market of this scheme on top of the Commonwealth community. Trade with the UK will increase so much,” he said.
Ngabitsinze believes that, together with the African Continental Free Trade Area(AfCFTA) which is a trade scheme within African countries, the new scheme will widen the markets for Africa, and will make it most beneficial because when it comes to markets, it’s always advantageous to come together as many as you can.
He advises that, still with this scheme, quality, value addition will prevail and it is not every product/good that would qualify. There will be standards to abide with.