Rwanda: overcoming barriers to trade
A one-stop shop mechanism should be implemented to provide Rwanda’s traders with all necessary and required certification and documentation needed for production and exports. That is one of the main findings of a large-scale ITC survey on non-tariff measures (NTMs) faced by Rwandese businesses.
More than 50 participants from the public and private sector came together in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, on 12 July to discuss the outcome the survey. The meeting was opened by Ms Kaliza Karuretwa, Director-General of Rwanda’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, and Ms Poonam Mohun of ITC’s Market Analysis and Research division.
The results of the NTM survey for Rwanda, identify problems faced by the county’s business sector in exporting and importing goods, and suggest how these can be overcome. The survey is based on phone interviews with more than 500 companies and face-to-face interviews with more than 130 enterprises from different regions and covers Rwanda’s main export and import sectors.
The ITC NTM survey suggests several ways forward for both Rwanda’s Government and the country’s private sector. More should be done to increase awareness about ‘inquiry points’, especially on technical issues, so as help small and medium-sized enterprises achieve the most of their export potential.
The survey also recommends that Rwanda learns lessons from other landlocked countries. It urges Rwanda to look at other countries and learn from their experiences in overcoming barriers to trade. Rwanda should also run a more pro-active dialogue with its trading partners in order to raise awareness about the barriers to trade faced by its businesses. In particular, the survey suggests raising in bilateral meetings with the EU and US the lack of harmonization standards between these two markets.
NTMs are a major barrier to trade, and exporters seeking access to foreign markets face a wide range of challenges. These include technical regulations, variations in product standards and different custom requirements. As a response to the global rise in NTMs and policymakers’ fears about the lack of transparency and impact on trade, ITC in 2010 launched a three-year programme to survey businesses in developing countries to identify the barriers to trade faced by companies and enterprises.
Learn more about ITC’s NTM surveys.