Rwanda Targets Global Markets At Chinese Import Expo

3 November 2019

Rwandan companies from the agricultural and handcrafts sectors will attend Chinese International Import Expo (CIIE) as the country seeks to boost exports on the global market.

The event will take place from 5th to 10th this month in the city of Shanghai and countries are expected to present their national image, promote trade and investment as well as help their companies to open new markets, and advance economic globalization.

This year's CIIE is the second edition, and it will provide 270,000 square metres of exhibition area for goods and 30,000 square metres for services.

Goods like high-end intelligent equipment; consumer electronics and appliances; apparels, automobiles; food products, medical equipment and services like emerging technologies, service outsourcing, creative design, culture and education, logistics, among others are expected to be presented.

The first CIIE that happened in the same city in 2018 attracted 172 countries, regions and international organizations. More than 3,600 enterprises participated in the expo, which attracted more than 400,000 domestic and overseas purchasers.

The cumulative intended turnover for deals of purchase of goods and services reached $57 billion.

This year's edition is expected to establish a unified "product debut" area, and have interactive modules that will provide visitors a more immersive exhibition experience.

According to Rwanda Development Board, the country will be represented by Gashora farms (chili producers), West Hills Coffee Limited, Garden Fresh, Damarara Coffee, Rwanda Mountain Tea, among others.

"Rwanda targets having more companies export to China by participating in this expo. The CIIE will be a gateway for our home companies to explore international marketing opportunities from over 100 countries exhibiting at the CIIE," said Victor Zimulinda, who is in charge of Marketing at RDB.

According to the Rwandan Embassy in China, the Expo is an opportunity for the Rwandan delegation to learn about the latest technologies in different fields and discuss partnerships with relevant institutions and companies.

This year, Rwanda has a country pavilion for presenting its products, and according to Zimulinda, this will be an opportunity to showcase various elements of Rwanda for example tourism.

"We will have some made in Rwanda exhibits and brochures talking about our made in Rwanda products, RwandAir new flight to Guangzhou, the visit Rwanda campaign, the gorillas and tourism in general, among others. We will also have investment material for investing in Rwanda information at the pavilion," he said.

"By attending these expos, we get an opportunity to invite Chinese companies to come and invest here, in addition to making our presence known to Chinese investors interested in investing in Africa."

In an interview with Sunday Times, Wang Jiaxin the Commercial Counselor at the Chinese embassy in Rwanda said that a country pavilion for Rwanda at the Expo will give the country a comprehensive display of its treasures.

"I think more Chinese people will know about Rwanda, get a better understanding of the country, the good governance, investment climate," he said.

During last year's CIIE, Dieudonné Twahirwa, a Rwandan agriculture entrepreneur dealing in chili secured a deal to export 1,500 drums (barrels), containing 37,500 litres of chili oil for $2 million (about Rwf1.7 billion) to China.

The agreement was reached between Kai Jiang Xian zi Wei Food on the sidelines of the expo.

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