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Monday, 16 June 2014

Traders urge govt to give industrialists more support

Traders want government to give local industries more support.

Rwanda’s trade deficit was at $564.6m during the fourth quarter of 2013, down from $689.3m in the second quarter. The country imported goods worth $415.5m, while exports fetched just $121.5m.

According to local traders, Rwanda imports almost every product used in the country, which they said poses a big development threat.

Mohammed Mazimpaka, Director of Chamber of Commerce and Industries at the Private Sector Federation, said the country’s manufacturing sector is still weak and needs a lot of government support to grow and become competitive.

“You can’t develop without industries. Therefore, the coming financial year, the government should focus on industrial growth to promote trade within the country and the region,” he said.

“Because we import almost everything, we need to support the local manufacturing sector to enhance its performance. Besides, it’s the government’s responsibility to help develop the sector,” he noted.

Mazimpaka, who is also a foodstuffs importer, pointed out that most local industries operate on a small-scale and, therefore, cannot create a lot of employment opportunities for Rwandans. He said only a few industries, including Inyange Industries and Bralirwa, were performing well.

Mazimpaka said imported foodstuffs could be sourced locally if Rwanda’s industrial sector was strong.

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