Private sector eyes Brazzaville market

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Benjamin Gasamagera, the Private Sector Federation (PSF) president

Rwanda will use the forthcoming regional trade fair in Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo in March 2014 to consolidate its footprint in the country, Benjamin Gasamagera, the Private Sector Federation (PSF) president, has said.

Gasamagera said the local private sector was invited to participate in the tradeshow during the recent visit to Brazzaville by Rwandan business leaders.
He said apart from showcasing Rwanda’s products, they will hold meetings with Congelese traders to share experiences and ideas on how to boost trade between Rwanda and the Republic of Congo.

“The fair will mostly feature agro-processed products, manufactured goods and artifacts,” Gasamagera noted.

Nigeria and Ghana will also participate and share experiences, especially in the petroleum industry.

Gasamagera said the recent visit to the country aimed at opening up new business opportunities in the central African country.

He said the trade fair is a great opportunity for local businesses to market their products, network and even form partnerships with their Brazzaville counterparts.
“The Republic of Congo provides a big market that the Rwandan private sector should exploit to increase local exports to the country, especially now that RwandAir flies to Brazzaville daily,” Gasamagera said.

He challenged the private sector to improve quality, brand and package products properly if they want to penetrate the Brazzaville market. Gerald Mukubu, the director of advocacy at the Private Sector Federation (PSF), said the federation is working with the business community to identify products to exhibit at the show.

On average, Rwanda airlifts about 50 tonnes of cargo to Brazzaville every week, mostly horticulture products, meat and other agricultural produce.
The export sector raked in $139m revenue during the third quarter of 2013 compared to $110.2m earned over the same period in 2012.

Africa continues to be the first destination of Rwanda’s exports and re-exports amounting to over 84 per cent of the country’s total exports.
Rwanda targets to grow its exports sector by 28 per cent annually under the countries growth blueprint, EDPRS II.