Economic Outlook

The services sector plays a significant role in the growth and development of the Rwandan economy, contributing an estimated 51.5% of GDP in 2017, followed by agriculture and industry, contributing 30.9% and 17.6% of GDP respectively. Trade in goods and services also plays an important role in Rwanda’s economic growth – contributing 51.02% to GDP in 2017. Much of Rwanda’s export earnings are from commodities such as coffee, tea, hides, tin ore, and gold and its major imports include machinery and transport equipment, petroleum products, foodstuffs, steel, cement and construction material.

The country continues to recover from a setback which was experienced in 2016 due to weak performance in services and industry. Economic performance improved in the second half of 2017 and is expected to continue to do so in 2018 due to favourable weather conditions and higher commodity prices. Growth prospects remain favourable because of the government’s fiscal consolidation strategy aimed at public expenditure efficiency to support economic growth.

Growth is expected to increase from 6% in 2017 up to 8% in 2019. On the other hand, inflation is expected to slightly increase from about4.8 % in 2017 up to approximately 5 % in 2019.

Potential Opportunities

With an estimated population of 12.133 million in 2018 that is expected to grow to about 12.432million in 2019, a GDP of US$9.137 billion in 2017, which is expected to increase to about US$10.532billion in 2019 and a GDP per capita income of US$771.70 in 2017, projected to rise to US$847.11 in 2019, Rwanda provides a growing market for exporters and investors.

The country holds opportunities for export diversification to neighbouring East African Community (EAC) countries, Africa, COMESA, the UK and the US market under the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA).

The country’s volume of imports of goods and services is expected to increase from about -1.05% in 2017 to approximately 6.744% in 2019, and the amount of exports of goods and services is expected to decline from about 40.72% in 2017 up to approximately 8.93% in 2019, indicating an increase in imports.

Having completed establishing Special Economic Zone in Kigali, the country seeks to attract investment in construction, information communication, trade logistics and mining. The country also offers a potential for investment in tourism, hotel and catering, and infrastructure development.

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