KIGALI: As the political stand-off continues between the two countries continues, Rwanda’s Minister of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN), Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana has said that his country is ready to import goods it does not produce from other countries other than Uganda, noting that Uganda which exports more goods to Rwanda would be the one to lose on the dollars than his country which exports far much less to Uganda.
The minister made remarks while appearing at the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) where he presented the Growth Domestic Product (GDP) report.
“There is nothing unusual concerning the trade between Rwanda and Burundi. However; the situation is new between Rwanda and Uganda. Imports from Uganda last year multiplied many times what we exported there. We imported goods worth US$242 million while our exports were worth US$27 million,” he said.
“The beginning of the year 2018 was characterized by political turbulence between Rwanda, Uganda relations” he added.
“If there is turbulence in reducing the trade, you understand that the big loss comes to the one who exported, who loses the market. The loss would be more inclined to Uganda than Rwanda. Because Uganda was a small market for our exports yet they had multiplied traded goods to us,” he said.
Ndagijimana explained that commodities and cement were among many imports from Uganda and can be ordered from other places.
“It cannot subvert economy. It would be difficult if we are losing the market, being the one exporting more goods. It is not automated to get another market but it becomes easy to buy from wherever when you have money. This means, some goods can be provided locally and from other countries if there is a fall in imports (from Uganda),” he said.
He said that trade with Burundi was not progressing well as Rwanda had exports worth US$12 million and imports worth US$3 million last year.