Publication: Fostering Rwanda Competitiveness and Resilience in the Post-COVID-19 Era

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World Bank Group
Rwanda achieved rapid export growth in the decade before the pandemic. In addition, Rwanda has expanded business tourism by promoting the meetings, incentives, conferences/conventions, and events/exhibitions industry. Air transport services was another key export, as a growing number of international airlines are serving Rwanda. However, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic depressed goods and especially, services exports in 2020. Sustained growth in trade will be a key driver for achieving the government’s goal of becoming an upper middle-income country by 2035. While exports have increased significantly over the past two decades, Rwanda remains a less open country than the middle-income countries the government aspires to match. Regional integration can not only provide the needed economic scale for Rwandan firms to improve their productivity and competitiveness, but can also serve as a vital training ground for learning to export and produce higher-quality goods The aim of this report is to assess policy options to foster international trade, deepen regional integration, and reinforce the government diversification strategy through services. The first part of this report assesses Rwandan trade performances and trade potential in recent years, with a special emphasis on regional trade, trade in services, and the impact of the COVID-19. The second part of the report assesses the main drivers and challenges to international and regional trade in Rwanda including: i) trade policy, with special emphasis on non-tariff barriers and the African Continental Free Trade Agreement; ii) trade facilitation with special emphasis on Rwanda’s trade logistic ambitions; iii) supply side trade constraints at the firm-level; and iv) specific trade challenges to trade in service and data exchanges. The third part of the report discusses potential recommendations.
World Bank Group. 2022. Fostering Rwanda Competitiveness and Resilience in the Post-COVID-19 Era. © World Bank, Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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